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Author Topic: New MicroStock site concept -- need feedback  (Read 26130 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.

« Reply #25 on: March 27, 2011, 07:37 »
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If a portion of the images were exclusive to the site, that would be something to bring in buyers. But of course there would have to be an incentive for uploading images exclusively. But that has also been discussed.
Looking forward to seeing the result

« Reply #26 on: March 27, 2011, 07:38 »
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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.

Also, it isn't just about trying to lure contributors with "higher royalty rates".  As Gostwyck said, what do the buyers get out of it?  They aren't going to change buying habits just because you showed up with more of the same.  'Images as low as $1' etc.  There has to be something new and different, not just another front on the same stuff everyone else has.  You've got a positive attitude, and whilte today you "think it is ridiculous that an artist makes less than half of the "sale" price of the creative", tomorrow will likely be different and not surprisingly, you want to "own a small (yet majority stake in the company)", so, really, the contributors don't have a say in anything.

So, basically, just another site at this point.

lisafx

« Reply #27 on: March 27, 2011, 09:07 »
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I congratulate you on your goal of improving this industry for artists.  Unfortunately, most of us have already seen sites with similar stated goals fail to get off the ground or attract any customers.  See the Clustershot thread where they sold a grand total of 386 images before having to close (sell) shop.

For those of us with larger portfolios and established customer bases, it is too big an investment of time and energy to come on board with a new site unless there is some incentive to reimburse our time.  As unhappy as many of us are with the current situation, our time will still probably be more productively rewarded growing our portfolios on existing sites. 

There are already other fair trade sites in existence - Stockfresh, and GraphicLeftovers, to name a couple.  Also, many of us are in the process of building our own sites, both in groups or individually. 

I'm not trying to throw cold water on your idea.  Just suggesting that you should probably have some concrete site infrastructure in place BEFORE trying to recruit contributors, if you want to be taken more seriously. 

« Reply #28 on: March 27, 2011, 09:40 »
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to answer your original question... I would put it in the new sites area or the general stock discussion area.

No worries though, if you post in the wrong area, it is pretty easy to move a thread. 

« Reply #29 on: March 27, 2011, 14:16 »
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I think there is still room for new agencies.  If I were to go beyond the collection of contributors idea and build a full agency, I would look for a cap of about 1-2 million images maximum.  I would stress that the agency was premium stock.  Show me an agency with 15 million images, and I will show you an agency with 13 million images that nobody wants.

Also I feel the door is wide open for offering a better buyer's experience.  Beyond the technical difficulties at IS, if you look at how they treat some of their buyers in the forum, I'd say their customer relations is terrible.

« Reply #30 on: March 27, 2011, 14:30 »
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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.

Good post, and I appreciate the candor. I "feel your pain" when it comes to feeling as though you are being squeezed by the big guys.  And you're right, the key to all of this is attracting buyers.  Without buyers, the best idea in the world is dead anyway.  A key component to my plan is artist-ownership and revenue sharing.  Maybe it's being done now, or has been done before -- but either way, the idea is not the industry-standard; so there is opportunity there.  I feel that if the contributors have ownership, then they will have incentive to help market the site.  After all, each time an image is purchased, or a good is produced...whether with their own artwork or not, they will profit. 

« Reply #31 on: March 27, 2011, 14:32 »
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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.

Gannet77 -- just wanted to point out that I didn't say anything about an "iconoclast."  That was a post by someone else, and I commented on it.

« Reply #32 on: March 27, 2011, 14:42 »
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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.

Well...I think there are different levels of entry for any business or industry.  I am a big dreamer, but even planning to gain 10% of the market is not in my scope -- at least not right now anyway ;)

I've said earlier, that my area of expertise lies in vector art and illustrations.  I am Graphic Designer by trade, so I have been involved from all levels...buyer, contributor -- and now, hopefully, agency.  Along with my background in Design, I have a background in printing, marketing, fulfillment.  I feel these things go well together and will offer opportunities for cross-selling and other markets.

So with all that said, I am starting to lean toward specializing in the niche market that I know up one side and down the other, and that is marketing graphics to t-shirt and sign companies, and also marketing the site directly to the printed apparel and graphic market.  We're talking, CustomInk meets Istock.

Microbius

« Reply #33 on: March 27, 2011, 14:42 »
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I think your idea is very exciting.
We have spoken about this a few times here, a co-op or site run like the John Lewis Partnership for contributors, but nothing has happened yet, hopefully you could be the man for it. Try a search on the forum for "John Lewis"
I think the main stumbling block to getting people to sign up is that the other sites may view it as a breach of terms; running a competing stock site.

« Reply #34 on: March 27, 2011, 14:54 »
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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.

Yes, G'ville is right around the corner!

I agree that 85% is out of hand...and you're not only talking about a low percentage, but in a lot of cases you are losing money because the images are priced lower than they should be.

« Reply #35 on: March 27, 2011, 15:06 »
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Also, it isn't just about trying to lure contributors with "higher royalty rates".  As Gostwyck said, what do the buyers get out of it?  They aren't going to change buying habits just because you showed up with more of the same.  'Images as low as $1' etc.  There has to be something new and different, not just another front on the same stuff everyone else has.  You've got a positive attitude, and whilte today you "think it is ridiculous that an artist makes less than half of the "sale" price of the creative", tomorrow will likely be different and not surprisingly, you want to "own a small (yet majority stake in the company)", so, really, the contributors don't have a say in anything.

So, basically, just another site at this point.

Part of the reason I posted this in the first place, is to find out "what's missing" for contributors....that they would like to see in a site.  By providing ownership for the contributors, I feel a lot of the needs will be met by the owners/partners demanding it.  And while I want to maintain the majority stake in the project, in no way does it mean that contributors don't have a say in anything.  There has to be someone in charge -- and I would be that person, at least initially.  But I hope you can tell from my posts, I think it should be run on a "majority rules" basis.  It's not at all what "I" want, but what the community wants, that will be overriding factor on how it all pans out.

« Reply #36 on: March 27, 2011, 15:12 »
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If a portion of the images were exclusive to the site, that would be something to bring in buyers. But of course there would have to be an incentive for uploading images exclusively. But that has also been discussed.
Looking forward to seeing the result

You're right, the real key is getting and maintaing buyers.  The plan, while in initial stages at this point, is starting to take shape and this theme will definitely be addressed.

« Reply #37 on: March 27, 2011, 15:17 »
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I congratulate you on your goal of improving this industry for artists.  Unfortunately, most of us have already seen sites with similar stated goals fail to get off the ground or attract any customers.  See the Clustershot thread where they sold a grand total of 386 images before having to close (sell) shop.

For those of us with larger portfolios and established customer bases, it is too big an investment of time and energy to come on board with a new site unless there is some incentive to reimburse our time.  As unhappy as many of us are with the current situation, our time will still probably be more productively rewarded growing our portfolios on existing sites.  

There are already other fair trade sites in existence - Stockfresh, and GraphicLeftovers, to name a couple.  Also, many of us are in the process of building our own sites, both in groups or individually.  

I'm not trying to throw cold water on your idea.  Just suggesting that you should probably have some concrete site infrastructure in place BEFORE trying to recruit contributors, if you want to be taken more seriously.  

You may have misunderstood my initial post.  I have a concept in place -- and currently working to build the infrastructure; which is why I have all the questions.  I am looking for the community to tell me the changes they would like to see.  The site will be built "for artists, by artists."  I am not trying to recruit contributors...please tell me where in my postings that it seemed I was at that stage, and I will edit the post so that others will not misunderstand this.

« Reply #38 on: March 27, 2011, 15:53 »
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I think there is still room for new agencies.  If I were to go beyond the collection of contributors idea and build a full agency, I would look for a cap of about 1-2 million images maximum.  I would stress that the agency was premium stock.  Show me an agency with 15 million images, and I will show you an agency with 13 million images that nobody wants.

Also I feel the door is wide open for offering a better buyer's experience.  Beyond the technical difficulties at IS, if you look at how they treat some of their buyers in the forum, I'd say their customer relations is terrible.

Good post...I think we're on the same page here.  Let me just say that I have some experience on the contributor's side...and have dealt with "management" at a particular agency, and the attitude I encountered was unlike any I have ever experienced before.  I vowed at that time to give Artists an alternative to what I viewed as a dictatorship -- with emotion and personality (or lack thereof) taking precedence over merit and substance.
« Last Edit: March 27, 2011, 15:59 by eStockArt »

« Reply #39 on: March 27, 2011, 16:39 »
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"And while I want to maintain the majority stake in the project, in no way does it mean that contributors don't have a say in anything."

A say is great.  Control is better.  Why don't you give the contributors control?  Otherwise you're just another guy running an agency.  A guy with no track record here to back you up.

« Reply #40 on: March 27, 2011, 16:41 »
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"So with all that said, I am starting to lean toward specializing in the niche market that I know up one side and down the other, and that is marketing graphics to t-shirt and sign companies, and also marketing the site directly to the printed apparel and graphic market.  We're talking, CustomInk meets Istock."

There's already one of those at least.  Signstock or something.  Search the forum.

lisafx

« Reply #41 on: March 27, 2011, 16:42 »
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You may have misunderstood my initial post.  I have a concept in place -- and currently working to build the infrastructure; which is why I have all the questions.

Yes, apparently I did misunderstand your post.  A lot of people come in here blowing smoke, and very few actually deliver anything.  If you have been following these forums for some time, or do a search, you will see the landscape is littered with also-ran agencies that never got off the ground.  

As I said, I am not trying to pour cold water on your idea.  Just to explain the reasons for some of the skepticism you are seeing.  Hopefully you will be that one-in-a-million who follows through and builds a successful agency.  

Wish you the best of luck.  :)

« Reply #42 on: March 27, 2011, 17:06 »
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Don't get us wrong eStock.  I doubt there are too many people here who would want to see you fail, as most of us are looking for some way out of our current agencies.  It's just that we all have some idea what the barriers to entry are in microstock, and you are going to have to hit the cover off the ball from Day 1 if you are going to survive, let alone make a mark against iStock, Shutterstock, and Dreamstime.

« Reply #43 on: March 27, 2011, 19:02 »
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"And while I want to maintain the majority stake in the project, in no way does it mean that contributors don't have a say in anything."

A say is great.  Control is better.  Why don't you give the contributors control?  Otherwise you're just another guy running an agency.  A guy with no track record here to back you up.

Actually the contributors would have control -- collectively.  I was saying I wanted a majority stake, not majority control.  Obviously, since this is an initial fact-finding mission, the details are not worked out -- but since I would be the founder of the organization, I can't see any one person owning more than I would; but if there's a scenario where it makes sense that it be structured another way, and it would benefit the group as a whole -- and it would still be worth my while (time + investment vs compensation), then I am open to suggestions.

The money is important, but I already earn a living through my business, so it's not THE driving force.

« Reply #44 on: March 27, 2011, 19:22 »
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I think your idea is very exciting.
We have spoken about this a few times here, a co-op or site run like the John Lewis Partnership for contributors, but nothing has happened yet, hopefully you could be the man for it. Try a search on the forum for "John Lewis"
I think the main stumbling block to getting people to sign up is that the other sites may view it as a breach of terms; running a competing stock site.

I read the thread you mention, and it seems very similar to what I am proposing.  I have never been on these forums before yesterday.  Yet, I have had this concept in mind for several years.  When I first started as a contributor, I did it half-way and still made some decent money.  I thought it was the best thing going.  I realized that compensation was low, but I was thinking "what the heck," I've got my business and this is a good way to supplement my income.  Then, it all changed.  I had a "run in" with "management" and was treated like I child.  I didn't like it, and I am still PO'd about it -- even years later.  People should not be treated like "cattle" and that's how (some of them) treat you.

Now...I know that there are several contributors out there making BIG money in microstock with the big agencies.  But it's a lot like the NFL.  You have your "stars" making huge money year in and year out, and then you have the guys in the trenches...working hard, for "base" pay.  IMO, it's time that the "regular guy" get paid his due.

If you are already making a boat-load of money....then if I were you, I would stay with the status quo and keep making my money.  My concept is for those that are fed up and want to do something about it.  And if successful, it would benefit the whole lot of contributors.

« Reply #45 on: March 27, 2011, 19:44 »
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"You have your "stars" making huge money year in and year out, and then you have the guys in the trenches...working hard, for "base" pay.  IMO, it's time that the "regular guy" get paid his due."

So, your concept is socialist micro?  Seriously, you can't go in saying 'I'm here to reward the regular guy', because, to be honest, the 'big guys' are big because they make what sells.  For starters, just stick with the idea of a very modest, at least 50%, royalty for everyone.  Not that that will matter.  There are those who offer more that fail because the buyers aren't there.

So, is this another images for $1 site?

« Reply #46 on: March 27, 2011, 19:44 »
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"So with all that said, I am starting to lean toward specializing in the niche market that I know up one side and down the other, and that is marketing graphics to t-shirt and sign companies, and also marketing the site directly to the printed apparel and graphic market.  We're talking, CustomInk meets Istock."

There's already one of those at least.  Signstock or something.  Search the forum.

The site I found (isignstock) specializes in stock art for sign industry, this is not what I am talking about.  Please let me know if it is a different site you had in mind.  However, in this case, I am not going to be discouraged if someone else is doing what I propose with the cross-merchandising...because if they had the market covered, I would have known their name without having to think about it, and you could have told me their exact name.  Besides, I don't have illusions thinking I am the only guy with "an idea" out there.  Things are improved upon every day.  Look at what happened to MySpace when Facebook came along.  And does anybody remember RebelArt.com? This was WAY before istockphoto...but they were crushed when somebody came along and did it better.  Aside from that, I am not even looking to crush the competition....just to put an alternative out there for people who are like-minded.

« Reply #47 on: March 27, 2011, 19:58 »
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Things are improved upon every day.  Look at what happened to MySpace when Facebook came along.  And does anybody remember RebelArt.com? This was WAY before istockphoto...but they were crushed when somebody came along and did it better.  Aside from that, I am not even looking to crush the competition....just to put an alternative out there for people who are like-minded.

I'm not sure what you're improving upon here.  I mean, the existing sites market to all kinds of buyers, including apparel makers and cards and everything.  You haven't said anything about groundbreaking site ideas or how the site would be different for buyers.  Contributors are (relatively) easy to get - all you need to do is offer a high royalty rate, but if you can't back that up with buyers, it means nothing.  Or offer payment for uploads, but even that doesn't drag them in anymore.

There are plenty of alternatives out there.  I can google all day long and find microstock sites.  I'm not seeing anything different here.  And since you still keep the majority, you can still change things to benefit you in the end.  No surprise there.  Good luck if you have something hidden in your back pocket.

« Reply #48 on: March 27, 2011, 20:27 »
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"You have your "stars" making huge money year in and year out, and then you have the guys in the trenches...working hard, for "base" pay.  IMO, it's time that the "regular guy" get paid his due."

So, your concept is socialist micro?  Seriously, you can't go in saying 'I'm here to reward the regular guy', because, to be honest, the 'big guys' are big because they make what sells.  For starters, just stick with the idea of a very modest, at least 50%, royalty for everyone.  Not that that will matter.  There are those who offer more that fail because the buyers aren't there.

So, is this another images for $1 site?

I hope nobody else is getting this vibe from me ("socialist" concept, and $1 images) -- so the answer is "no" on both counts. 

When I say "regular guy," I mean the guy who is not already doing 6 figures (or close to it) in microstock.  If you are making big money, you probably don't care what the cut is, as long as you are making an amount of money that most only dream about. 

I think there are A LOT of contributors out there that would really step up to the plate if the payout % were better, but they don't see the use.  Why spend 4 hours doing a piece of art, then take the time to upload it -- when you know that even if it is downloaded 10 times in a month, you are only going to see about $20?  (if that much)  On the contrary, if your percentage was such that you could get $60 month from such images, you might be enticed to produce and load more (quality) images. 

« Reply #49 on: March 27, 2011, 20:37 »
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"You have your "stars" making huge money year in and year out, and then you have the guys in the trenches...working hard, for "base" pay.  IMO, it's time that the "regular guy" get paid his due."

So, your concept is socialist micro?  Seriously, you can't go in saying 'I'm here to reward the regular guy', because, to be honest, the 'big guys' are big because they make what sells.  For starters, just stick with the idea of a very modest, at least 50%, royalty for everyone.  Not that that will matter.  There are those who offer more that fail because the buyers aren't there.

So, is this another images for $1 site?

I hope nobody else is getting this vibe from me ("socialist" concept, and $1 images) -- so the answer is "no" on both counts.  

When I say "regular guy," I mean the guy who is not already doing 6 figures (or close to it) in microstock.  If you are making big money, you probably don't care what the cut is, as long as you are making an amount of money that most only dream about.  

I think there are A LOT of contributors out there that would really step up to the plate if the payout % were better, but they don't see the use.  Why spend 4 hours doing a piece of art, then take the time to upload it -- when you know that even if it is downloaded 10 times in a month, you are only going to see about $20?  (if that much)  On the contrary, if your percentage was such that you could get $60 month from such images, you might be enticed to produce and load more (quality) images.  

I agree with you. I'm small potatoes, but I have heard from some who have WAY more images than I about how unmotivated they are. They are looking for a reason to be motivated again.

Quote
From Sean:
So, your concept is socialist micro?  Seriously, you can't go in saying 'I'm here to reward the regular guy', because, to be honest, the 'big guys' are big because they make what sells.  For starters, just stick with the idea of a very modest, at least 50%, royalty for everyone.  Not that that will matter.  There are those who offer more that fail because the buyers aren't there.

There are plenty of "small and medium-sized contributors" who have images that sell...but it's tough when the "big guys" have flooded the site with thousands of images and everyone else gets pushed back in the search just from the shear volume.
« Last Edit: March 27, 2011, 20:39 by cclapper »

« Reply #50 on: March 27, 2011, 20:40 »
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I'm not sure what you're improving upon here.  I mean, the existing sites market to all kinds of buyers, including apparel makers and cards and everything.  You haven't said anything about groundbreaking site ideas or how the site would be different for buyers.  Contributors are (relatively) easy to get - all you need to do is offer a high royalty rate, but if you can't back that up with buyers, it means nothing.  Or offer payment for uploads, but even that doesn't drag them in anymore.

There are plenty of alternatives out there.  I can google all day long and find microstock sites.  I'm not seeing anything different here.  And since you still keep the majority, you can still change things to benefit you in the end.  No surprise there.  Good luck if you have something hidden in your back pocket.

Who would you propose be the majority owner, if not the founder and the guy sticking his neck out?

I realize that there are a lot of microstock sites out there...and though I do have some ideas that I haven't disclosed (and won't until site is live), I also realize that there are no guarantees -- especially when it comes to business! 
« Last Edit: March 27, 2011, 20:47 by eStockArt »

« Reply #51 on: March 27, 2011, 21:30 »
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Quote
From Sean:
So, your concept is socialist micro?  Seriously, you can't go in saying 'I'm here to reward the regular guy', because, to be honest, the 'big guys' are big because they make what sells.  For starters, just stick with the idea of a very modest, at least 50%, royalty for everyone.  Not that that will matter.  There are those who offer more that fail because the buyers aren't there.

There are plenty of "small and medium-sized contributors" who have images that sell...but it's tough when the "big guys" have flooded the site with thousands of images and everyone else gets pushed back in the search just from the shear volume.

I'm not sure why you imagine this would be any different.  Yuri comes in with 30K images, they sell, probably like they do on the other sites, he gets to "own" a majority of the minority of the "company", and the "regular guys" get what they normally get.

Sorry, I'm all for looking for new ideas that are different, but I'm not sure what the OP is trying to get here from us, or really, what he's offering that's any different.

« Reply #52 on: March 27, 2011, 22:03 »
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This business is not about the average contributors. It's about the talented contributors. The buyers like them the most.

If you can figure out a way to get Black Diamond / Diamond Exclusives and Independents then you might have something.

If you can't do that then it doesn't matter how you structure your business. You will be selling the same thing everyone else is selling. You need a compelling reason for buyers to change their buying habits.

« Reply #53 on: March 28, 2011, 00:05 »
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Since I am a newbie to the site, it's been difficult to quickly get a feel for the culture of the microstock contributor...but I am starting to get a feel for it -- and the desires of the group.

After jumping around on the site, trying to get a better overview of everything, I happened to run across the Contributors Collective.  I think a couple of you may have even mentioned it in this thread...and I was puzzled because I did not know what it was.  But after reading up on it, it seems you, as a community have already started the ball rolling on something very very similar to what I have in mind.

So with that, I have no inclination to pursue my project.  However, with my background as buyer and contributor -- as well as vast experience in printing, promotional products & fulfillment, I would very much like to remain a part of the community and perhaps get involved in the Collective from that angle...if it's something the group would be interested in.

If anyone cares to comment further, that's fine....but at this point I am going to consider this matter closed, and I am going to venture over to the other thread and see how this all pans out.

Thanks again, for the valuable feedback.

lisafx

« Reply #54 on: March 28, 2011, 17:24 »
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After jumping around on the site, trying to get a better overview of everything, I happened to run across the Contributors Collective.  I think a couple of you may have even mentioned it in this thread...and I was puzzled because I did not know what it was.  But after reading up on it, it seems you, as a community have already started the ball rolling on something very very similar to what I have in mind.

So with that, I have no inclination to pursue my project.  However, with my background as buyer and contributor -- as well as vast experience in printing, promotional products & fulfillment, I would very much like to remain a part of the community and perhaps get involved in the Collective from that angle...if it's something the group would be interested in.


I certainly hope you do stick around here.  As a designer and buyer, as well as artist, you bring a lot to the table and to the discussions.  We have too few designers/buyers on these forums, and it is a very useful perspective. 

I am sure the Contributor's Collective would love to hear any input you have to offer.  Your idea about marketing to apparel makers and other producers of printed products is very smart, and although I am sure Sean is right that printers shop the existing micros, I don't know that they have been specifically targeted as a buying demographic.  Probably huge potential there. 

« Reply #55 on: March 28, 2011, 17:45 »
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After jumping around on the site, trying to get a better overview of everything, I happened to run across the Contributors Collective.  I think a couple of you may have even mentioned it in this thread...and I was puzzled because I did not know what it was.  But after reading up on it, it seems you, as a community have already started the ball rolling on something very very similar to what I have in mind.

So with that, I have no inclination to pursue my project.  However, with my background as buyer and contributor -- as well as vast experience in printing, promotional products & fulfillment, I would very much like to remain a part of the community and perhaps get involved in the Collective from that angle...if it's something the group would be interested in.


I certainly hope you do stick around here.  As a designer and buyer, as well as artist, you bring a lot to the table and to the discussions.  We have too few designers/buyers on these forums, and it is a very useful perspective.  

I am sure the Contributor's Collective would love to hear any input you have to offer.  Your idea about marketing to apparel makers and other producers of printed products is very smart, and although I am sure Sean is right that printers shop the existing micros, I don't know that they have been specifically targeted as a buying demographic.  Probably huge potential there.  

Yes...I'll be sticking around.  And if for some reason the Contributor's Collective doesn't pan out -- I may jump back in.  But it's apparent that with the "digging around" I did that my project is not significantly different than others doing the same thing.  But...my angle of producing products in accordance with contributors and/or microstock images is something to be explored.

The most potential for the promotional print market lies with the vector artist.  And while I do not know the culture of the microstock contributor well as of yet, I definitely know the promo print buyer and suppliers.  There is no loyalty in this industry.  Most buyers go strictly on price, which forces the printer to "give away" artwork/design services.  I do not have any industry data, but I would almost guarantee that 75% or more of microstock vector sales end up on a t-shirt or other promo product somewhere, and the artist never sees the $100 license fee.  The promo market is way to cut-throat; you simply cannot afford to add $100 to the order, unless you are doing something like 500 shirts or more.  Most mom-pop shops print 50 to 100 pcs at a time.  They are buying the image for $20 bucks and printing 50 shirts...and they dare you to try and catch them doing it.

Fortunately for my business, we have a great in-house illustrator as well as a couple of freelance guys we use.  I can pay them to produce custom art for less than the $100 license.  If this were reduced to $40, vector artists would see their earnings skyrocket...I guarantee it.

With my cross-merchandising project; whether it's done in accordance with the Collective or through my own portal, we will guarantee the artist at least $40 every single time we produce a promotional product order.  Your images are already being used for these products, you are just not being compensated.  Large orders (500 or more)....would significantly increase the earnings.  

Vector artists are not the only ones who can benefit though. With new, higher-quality digital printing capabilities, short-run full-color t-shirts are becoming more popular.  There will need to be vector art (text, other graphics) added to them though -- but that can be done pretty simply.

If there are some photographers out there interested, I can lay out some of the types of images you would need to have available for this project.  Just let me know!
« Last Edit: March 28, 2011, 17:47 by eStockArt »

« Reply #56 on: March 28, 2011, 17:48 »
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So instead of charging $150 for an EL and maybe missing some, you want to charge $40 and still miss some?

« Reply #57 on: March 28, 2011, 23:15 »
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So instead of charging $150 for an EL and maybe missing some, you want to charge $40 and still miss some?

 You are ignoring the fact that there are thousands of people every day buying vectors from microstocks at the standard rate, then getting t-shirts (or other products) printed. The vector artists are not missing "maybe some," they are missing "most."  If the EL is lowered to a sustainable figure, then the buyer will be compelled to pay it.  I would like to say that the promotional products industry is all about integrity, but unfortunately, there are too many people that will just take what they can get.  I know you'll probably come back and ask why they would pay $40 if they're not willing to pay $150. And I'll answer that by saying that they won't pay the $150 because to the small mom-pop print shop, that could represent almost their whole profit -- which would be about $200 on a 50 pc order.  However, if you make it $40, they will consider this "worth it."  They're first inclination is to make enough money to be able to eat, and integrity follows after that.  While many of us won't put a price on integrity, there are many that will.

« Reply #58 on: March 29, 2011, 05:47 »
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I got it now.  You want to lower prices to try and find the sweet spot where you feel gains will outweigh losses.

« Reply #59 on: March 29, 2011, 09:58 »
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Yes...I'll be sticking around.  And if for some reason the Contributor's Collective doesn't pan out -- I may jump back in.  

There is room for both.  If you believe in this project, go for it.  And there potentially 2 contributor collectives...Jeancliclac is working on one too.

« Reply #60 on: March 29, 2011, 11:36 »
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There is room for both.  If you believe in this project, go for it.  And there potentially 2 contributor collectives...Jeancliclac is working on one too.

I tend to agree. If you believe in the idea, then go for it. There's the contributor collective, but there are also several systems out there too like Clustershot, Photodeck, Avid Images, and Photoshelter. All of them are more contributor orientated which is nice to have. I'd probably try more of those out, but they don't offer support for vectors. There's always going to be competition out there, but it's nice to have competition that favors the contributors.

Microbius

« Reply #61 on: March 29, 2011, 13:57 »
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So instead of charging $150 for an EL and maybe missing some, you want to charge $40 and still miss some?

 You are ignoring the fact that there are thousands of people every day buying vectors from microstocks at the standard rate, then getting t-shirts (or other products) printed. The vector artists are not missing "maybe some," they are missing "most."  If the EL is lowered to a sustainable figure, then the buyer will be compelled to pay it.  I would like to say that the promotional products industry is all about integrity, but unfortunately, there are too many people that will just take what they can get.  I know you'll probably come back and ask why they would pay $40 if they're not willing to pay $150. And I'll answer that by saying that they won't pay the $150 because to the small mom-pop print shop, that could represent almost their whole profit -- which would be about $200 on a 50 pc order.  However, if you make it $40, they will consider this "worth it."  They're first inclination is to make enough money to be able to eat, and integrity follows after that.  While many of us won't put a price on integrity, there are many that will.
You've lost me now.
If they think they can get away with it and have no moral objection to not paying for the correct license it doesn't matter how low the price is for the right license, they will always pay for the cheapest one.
You'll just be lowering the commission we get from EL sales without generating any new sales to compensate for the lower price.

« Reply #62 on: March 29, 2011, 16:27 »
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You've lost me now.
If they think they can get away with it and have no moral objection to not paying for the correct license it doesn't matter how low the price is for the right license, they will always pay for the cheapest one.
You'll just be lowering the commission we get from EL sales without generating any new sales to compensate for the lower price.

No, I can see where Todd is coming from. As you probably remember in the 1980's Mrs Thatch reduced the highest rate of UK income tax down to 40% (from about 60% if I remember correctly). It was an economic experiment suggested by her advisers and it worked. Tax revenues actually increased as significantly fewer high earners sought tax avoidance measures.

Microbius

« Reply #63 on: March 30, 2011, 02:54 »
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You've lost me now.
If they think they can get away with it and have no moral objection to not paying for the correct license it doesn't matter how low the price is for the right license, they will always pay for the cheapest one.
You'll just be lowering the commission we get from EL sales without generating any new sales to compensate for the lower price.

No, I can see where Todd is coming from. As you probably remember in the 1980's Mrs Thatch reduced the highest rate of UK income tax down to 40% (from about 60% if I remember correctly). It was an economic experiment suggested by her advisers and it worked. Tax revenues actually increased as significantly fewer high earners sought tax avoidance measures.

But I would argue that the reason it worked is that the rate paid to the UK treasury suddenly became more favorable than the rate many high earners were paying overseas, so it simply made sense to pay the lower rate in the UK. What I don't believe happened is that they thought "we could get away with paying less, but lets be nice and pay our dues". The buyer will always want to pay the least they can get away, it's how prices are set in market.

« Reply #64 on: March 30, 2011, 05:31 »
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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 :)


Google is ultimately an advertising agency. Everything that Google does is about driving traffic. Mostly they give stuff away. So are you hoping they will let you give away your pictures in exchange for some share of the ad revenue ? Who would be the advertisers on a free images site ?

No wait - hasn't the free images idea already been done. Isn't the best known now part of and presumably driving traffic for .... ?

« Reply #65 on: March 30, 2011, 06:20 »
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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 :)


Google is ultimately an advertising agency. Everything that Google does is about driving traffic. Mostly they give stuff away. So are you hoping they will let you give away your pictures in exchange for some share of the ad revenue ? Who would be the advertisers on a free images site ?

No wait - hasn't the free images idea already been done. Isn't the best known now part of and presumably driving traffic for .... ?


I know, I'm just a big fan of Google and was hoping they could set up an agency that paid a fair share to its contributors. Surely they could wipe out the competition if they ever did. But as you say, they survive by giving stuff away, and I'm not interested in that scenario, of course.

« Reply #66 on: March 30, 2011, 07:01 »
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I think google could have a row of licensed images in their google images searches.  They could then link to a site with a bigger choice of licensed images.  Not many people are going to be interested in paying for a license for an image but with their huge traffic, I think it would work.

It would be even easier for microsoft to do this with bing, as Bill Gates owns Corbis and Veer.  I'm surprised this hasn't happened already.

Microbius

« Reply #67 on: March 30, 2011, 09:34 »
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I know, I'm just a big fan of Google and was hoping they could set up an agency that paid a fair share to its contributors. Surely they could wipe out the competition if they ever did. But as you say, they survive by giving stuff away, and I'm not interested in that scenario, of course.

Trust me, if Google ever set up an agency it will probably make the Getty board look like Mother Teresa, last time I checked they weren't even paying the artists that customize the logo for them.

« Reply #68 on: March 30, 2011, 09:52 »
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I think google could have a row of licensed images in their google images searches.  They could then link to a site with a bigger choice of licensed images.  Not many people are going to be interested in paying for a license for an image but with their huge traffic, I think it would work.

It would be even easier for microsoft to do this with bing, as Bill Gates owns Corbis and Veer.  I'm surprised this hasn't happened already.

You mean some image specific version of paid search ? Certainly they are not interested in anything which cannot be done with algorithms.

This is a bit off thread but I sometimes use Image Search as a way of searching for none image content. Let me explain:

I am good at search - but sometimes I am searching for something and there is so much spam, marketing and superfluous SEO manipulated content etc that I go over to image search instead. I often find that the site with the most relevant image is the one which will have the content I am looking for. Obviously this is only sometimes applicable.

I could see them doing something like TinEye but with the addition of a find similar option.

I also increasingly use Twitter for search.

« Reply #69 on: March 30, 2011, 16:07 »
0
You've lost me now.
If they think they can get away with it and have no moral objection to not paying for the correct license it doesn't matter how low the price is for the right license, they will always pay for the cheapest one.
You'll just be lowering the commission we get from EL sales without generating any new sales to compensate for the lower price.

My point is that if the client can afford it, he will pay it.  He cannot afford $100 - $150 every time he wants to use a M'stock image for an order.  The orders are just profitable enough to do that.  And...he's not going to turn down a paying customer.  

I could be all wet, and all of you vector artists are seeing many EL's going into your pocket.  If so, then I've really misread it.  But I think I am right.  I seriously doubt if many of you (vector artists) are seeing much in the way of EL's...but please let me know.

And if you are not...what do you think the end-user is doing with the vector?  After all, you only really need vector art for screen printing -- and this type of printing is used for promotional products (t-shirts, caps, mugs, mousepads, magnets, golf towels, key chains, banners, etc), and signage.  (You can get by with digital/raster images for: offset (flyers, brochures, etc), flexography (magazines, stickers, decals, boxes, etc), gravure (magazines, publications,etc)...and so on)

So let's say a guy buys your image of a Pig wearing a chef hat, and puts it on his sign.  Well...it turned out so good that he decides he wants to use it on his menus.  Then, he decides that his waitresses will look good in t-shirts...and so on, and so on.  And all you got was $20 when he downloaded the image to use for signs.  (Actually, $4-$5 was your cut). Vectors last forever...and you can't stop it.

You've got to remember...your images are going to all different types of people:  print shops, graphic dept's (other artists), business owners, individuals

And on top of all this, the EL is not even clearly pushed on IS or other MS sites.  This needs to be the "rule," not the exception.  
« Last Edit: March 30, 2011, 16:13 by eStockArt »

« Reply #70 on: March 30, 2011, 16:11 »
0
I got it now.  You want to lower prices to try and find the sweet spot where you feel gains will outweigh losses.

Yes, and I am pretty confident that $40 - $50 range will significantly increase earnings for the artists.  But you got me to thinking, perhaps some sort of scale would work better.  Starting with EL at $40 for "this," then increasing from there based on the use.  After all, photographic images are priced on a scale...X-small all the way up to XL.  Fortunately, for the Photographer, the image itself can be controlled.  Unfortunately for the vector artist, you cannot control it.  You have to rely on the integrity of the buyer.  But give them more choices and some flexibility, and I truly believe earnings will increase.

« Reply #71 on: March 30, 2011, 16:18 »
0
There is room for both.  If you believe in this project, go for it.  And there potentially 2 contributor collectives...Jeancliclac is working on one too.

I tend to agree. If you believe in the idea, then go for it. There's the contributor collective, but there are also several systems out there too like Clustershot, Photodeck, Avid Images, and Photoshelter. All of them are more contributor orientated which is nice to have. I'd probably try more of those out, but they don't offer support for vectors. There's always going to be competition out there, but it's nice to have competition that favors the contributors.

Well, I've received a lot of PM's suggesting I stay in the game with this idea, so I may just do that.  Perhaps my project would focus (no pun intended) more on vectors rather than photography, at least from the outset.

« Reply #72 on: March 30, 2011, 16:27 »
0
"So let's say a guy buys your image of a Pig wearing a chef hat, and puts it on his sign.  Well...it turned out so good that he decides he wants to use it on his menus.  Then, he decides that his waitresses will look good in t-shirts...and so on, and so on.  And all you got was $20 when he downloaded the image to use for signs.  (Actually, $4-$5 was your cut). Vectors last forever...and you can't stop it."

Now I'm not even sure what point you're trying to make.  All those uses are covered under the regular license.

« Reply #73 on: March 30, 2011, 16:49 »
0
I don't get many EL's.  I used to get more from fotolia but they have slowed down.  Istock and Dreamstime occasionally have some EL's but I'm sure they should sell more.  Shutterstock sell more for me than the other sites but I only make $28 commission.  If you could sell more for $40 and give me at least $28 commission, I would be interested.

« Reply #74 on: March 30, 2011, 17:14 »
0
"So let's say a guy buys your image of a Pig wearing a chef hat, and puts it on his sign.  Well...it turned out so good that he decides he wants to use it on his menus.  Then, he decides that his waitresses will look good in t-shirts...and so on, and so on.  And all you got was $20 when he downloaded the image to use for signs.  (Actually, $4-$5 was your cut). Vectors last forever...and you can't stop it."

Now I'm not even sure what point you're trying to make.  All those uses are covered under the regular license.

T-shirt use requires an EL...that's my point.  You are not going to get paid for it because he bought it to use on a sign (or menus)...and he liked it so much he decides to use it on shirts.  He's not going to log back in and buy the EL.  But...if the EL was $40 and there was a marketing push that shows client what the EL is actually for, then there's a good chance he might say "hey, I might want to get t-shirts too, so I'll go ahead and get the EL."

Also, with cross-merchandising, he can buy the shirts right there on the site, and the Artist is automatically paid.  No EL to purchase.

PaulieWalnuts

  • On the Wrong Side of the Business
« Reply #75 on: March 30, 2011, 17:26 »
0
I know, I'm just a big fan of Google and was hoping they could set up an agency that paid a fair share to its contributors. Surely they could wipe out the competition if they ever did. But as you say, they survive by giving stuff away, and I'm not interested in that scenario, of course.

Trust me, if Google ever set up an agency it will probably make the Getty board look like Mother Teresa, last time I checked they weren't even paying the artists that customize the logo for them.

Didn't they just get slapped for copying a few gazillion books without bothering to ask the authors?

« Reply #76 on: August 05, 2011, 04:19 »
0
To reply the original post, I think that the concept itself is good.
A lot of microstock contributors would love it. What comes to the ownership of the company, I think I'd leave that out since it's likely too complicated and difficult to handle.

ShadySue

« Reply #77 on: August 05, 2011, 04:44 »
0
Old Thread alert!
I wondered how this had got up to 4 pages and I hadn't noticed it.
Did the OP just disappear, or are people actively working on his idea?

« Reply #78 on: September 05, 2012, 02:36 »
0
There will be any evelution about this project?? I'm curious... I've just read all the posts..

Poncke

« Reply #79 on: September 05, 2012, 04:16 »
0
The site estock doesnt exist any longer, I think the project didnt come off the ground. Is Oleg not trying the same now with his Coop?


 

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