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Author Topic: Unsustainable!  (Read 34403 times)

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Shelma1

« Reply #50 on: April 14, 2014, 09:01 »
+9

and FYI, pros like us dumped our years of rejects into the micros and instantly made another annual income, we still put our best stuff in the other sandbox. you should do the same thing - that is if you have what it takes to sell your work for more than your self valued 38 cents.

So pros like you doubled your incomes for a while while helping drive down prices and drive up the quality expected for those prices.

Why are you complaining now?


« Reply #51 on: April 14, 2014, 09:40 »
+1
Critical mass can be a good thing and a bad thing.

Uncle Pete

« Reply #52 on: April 14, 2014, 10:18 »
0
Is this one of those, "It's better to give... than receive" things?  :)

Critical mass can be a good thing and a bad thing.

if selling digital images is becoming more difficult the agencies will be forced to pay us less, not more !

--> supply vs demand.


Yes, I've tried to explain supply and demand, a number of times. More competition is NOT a good thing. It drives down values and prices. Supporting the sites that do nothing but being resellers or selling all the same images from the same people, for less, is driving the market down.

What I was trying to point out at the start was not bashing Microstock. It is what it is and things are not ever going back in time. Global economy, digital product, electronic distribution, this was inevitable.

Where the comparison to the dollar stores came in, was the expansion and growth where things were booming and seemed endless. Now they are pulling back, contracting, closings.

When that happens to Microstock, we will have a better value in the marketplace, not like some cheap mass produced plastic crap that sells for a buck. When we see profits not meeting expectations, and the market growth receding, then it's going to be very interesting to watch.

I'd say right now, things are leveling off and stabilizing. The rapid growth and expansion ended a few of years ago. Artists shouldn't have expected or planned on never ending growth in the marketplace. And shouldn't have counted on never ending returns or gains from their collections.

For the high end complaints, there's still a market for high end and specific needs. They still make Ferrari's and Porsche and Mercedes, everyone doesn't drive a Toyota, Honda or Subaru. You can get choice sirloin steaks or by ground chuck.

Microstock is filling a broader need and position in the demands of enterprise, caused by the Internet boom. I think products are undervalued and we should get a better percentage of a higher price. But someone needs to find a way to do that.

For the people who spend their entire time here pointing out the obvious, that Microstock undervalues our work. (and I agree with them) Here's the challenge.

How do we fix it?  Now that would be an interesting and positive discussion.

What's the realistic solution?

« Reply #53 on: April 14, 2014, 10:35 »
0
For the people who spend their entire time here pointing out the obvious, that Microstock undervalues our work. (and I agree with them) Here's the challenge.

How do we fix it?  Now that would be an interesting and positive discussion.

What's the realistic solution?

There isn't one. You can sell on your own, find reasonable partners or go full macro. But, those solutions aren't going to work for everyone and they are all more lateral moves than fixing the issues. Like I said earlier in the thread, some of us may have to wait for the industry to fail. I assume that is what Mantis means by benefits of critical mass.

« Reply #54 on: April 14, 2014, 10:48 »
+3
For the people who spend their entire time here pointing out the obvious, that Microstock undervalues our work. (and I agree with them) Here's the challenge.

How do we fix it?  Now that would be an interesting and positive discussion.

What's the realistic solution?

It's true that the glut of newbie agencies all trying to undercut everyone to grab market share does us no good.

However, we are the ones who value our images according to the place we send them, and with a reason. If I had the only shots of a unique event of international importance I wouldn't be offering them on the micros. My very fine photos of a festive turkey being carved do not seem to me to be worth more than a few cents, and the chance that a few hundred people will pay a few cents for them makes that a reasonable pricing.

You "fix" the pricing problem by having material that is special and offering it at special prices. Material that is ordinary must be offered at ordinary prices.

Digital has made material that seemed special at one time to become ordinary. It's a shame, but we're the ones who participated in that trend.
« Last Edit: April 14, 2014, 11:29 by BaldricksTrousers »

Uncle Pete

« Reply #55 on: April 14, 2014, 11:01 »
0
I don't think the industry will ever fail any more than Computer and Software companies will cease to exist.

I do expect the same to happen, as the wild early days of computers. Some will fail, some will be purchased, some will merge. Some will go into limited special areas of interest.

I'd be happy to see all the partners and little basement parasitic agencies go away. They are nothing but a drain and compete on only one point. Lower Prices. They offer the customers nothing of value, and offer us nothing for the future. The create a loss for value and our rights as we lose any control over our own images.


For the people who spend their entire time here pointing out the obvious, that Microstock undervalues our work. (and I agree with them) Here's the challenge.

How do we fix it?  Now that would be an interesting and positive discussion.

What's the realistic solution?

There isn't one. You can sell on your own, find reasonable partners or go full macro. But, those solutions aren't going to work for everyone and they are all more lateral moves than fixing the issues. Like I said earlier in the thread, some of us may have to wait for the industry to fail. I assume that is what Mantis means by benefits of critical mass.

« Reply #56 on: April 14, 2014, 11:12 »
0
Quote from:  link=topic=22388.msg374743#msg374743 date=1397477241
if selling digital images is becoming more difficult the agencies will be forced to pay us less, not more !

--> supply vs demand.


It is not about supply and demand.

Shutterstock admits that they have purposely chosen not to raise prices as a business strategy to gain market share. Shutterstock has also admitted that they will continue to price undercut the competition as a long term business road path.

Shutterstock's long term price undercutting strategy has negatively impacted micro pricing and subscription strategy for the entire industry.

"We havent raised prices in many years and then been a great strategy so far to grow."


Snip
Duck Swartz

So whats changed in the marketplace thats giving you the opportunity to locate in the enterprise in a more, in a more robust way?
Timothy E. Bixby - CFO

The quality of the images has increased pretty dramatically over the past 10 years

So in the past five years the contents gone up to a level where the biggest publishers in the world mediated either starting to notice that is price, these images are not only price well, but they are also similar to some images that they have paid thousands of dollars for and also had to be on the phone for an hour negotiating the license for that image.

Snip

Duck Swartz

Talking about your present strategy longer term?

Timothy E. Bixby - CFO

We think we can raise the prices over the long term but were primary in the growth mode right now and we would like to continue to cover as much of the world as possible and take as much as growth in the business that we can before we play with the pricing level.

We havent raised prices in many years and then been a great strategy so far to grow.

Snip
Jonathan Oringer - Founder, CEO & Chairman of the Board

It still multiples. So it's order of magnitude whether it's if you look at us compared to other stock marketplaces like an iStock or others, it's two or three or four times more expensive to not use Shutterstock. If you look at the higher end sort of more traditional marketed might be 6 or 8 or 10 times more expensive.

http://seekingalpha.com/article/1841072-shutterstocks-management-presents-at-the-goldman-sachs-us-emerging-smid-cap-growth-conference-transcript?page=2&p=qanda&l=last

Shelma1

« Reply #57 on: April 14, 2014, 11:16 »
+3
Why do you keep posting the same articles over and over again? It's nothing new. And you keep ignoring the non-sub options SS has introduced that bring in higher revenue.

« Reply #58 on: April 14, 2014, 11:24 »
+1
I don't think the industry will ever fail any more than Computer and Software companies will cease to exist.

I do expect the same to happen, as the wild early days of computers. Some will fail, some will be purchased, some will merge. Some will go into limited special areas of interest.

I'd be happy to see all the partners and little basement parasitic agencies go away. They are nothing but a drain and compete on only one point. Lower Prices. They offer the customers nothing of value, and offer us nothing for the future. The create a loss for value and our rights as we lose any control over our own images.


For the people who spend their entire time here pointing out the obvious, that Microstock undervalues our work. (and I agree with them) Here's the challenge.

How do we fix it?  Now that would be an interesting and positive discussion.

What's the realistic solution?

There isn't one. You can sell on your own, find reasonable partners or go full macro. But, those solutions aren't going to work for everyone and they are all more lateral moves than fixing the issues. Like I said earlier in the thread, some of us may have to wait for the industry to fail. I assume that is what Mantis means by benefits of critical mass.

In the case of the micros the self proclaimed "number one subscription imagery site" has done the most damage to the industry by purposely not raising prices for 8 or 9 years.

As for the computer industry, it is the large companies who failed. The smaller, leaner companies who did not spend tons of money on overhead are still in business; while their bloated competitors were forced to close shop.


« Reply #59 on: April 14, 2014, 11:40 »
-3
Why do you keep posting the same articles over and over again? It's nothing new. And you keep ignoring the non-sub options SS has introduced that bring in higher revenue.

That is right it is nothing new and yet many here continue to ignore the reality of the situation. To the point they ignore what "subscription pricing" has done to the entire industry.

The pros did not keep pricing down. The micros could have easily raised pricing and created curated collections as quality rose. They did not and could not because the largest subscription site fully admits that they purposely kept pricing stagnate and low as a business strategy to gain market share.

« Reply #60 on: April 14, 2014, 11:53 »
+4
That is right it is nothing new and yet many here continue to ignore the reality of the situation. To the point they ignore what "subscription pricing" has done to the entire industry.

sorry but I don't really remember seeing you complaining about subscriptions before having serious drops in income

we are all well aware about subscriptions and also ODs/SODs/ELs, the last ones represent 42% of my income at SS

can you tell us which % of your income comes from SS?

Shelma1

« Reply #61 on: April 14, 2014, 11:54 »
0
Why do you keep posting the same articles over and over again? It's nothing new. And you keep ignoring the non-sub options SS has introduced that bring in higher revenue.

That is right it is nothing new and yet many here continue to ignore the reality of the situation. To the point they ignore what "subscription pricing" has done to the entire industry.

The pros did not keep pricing down. The micros could have easily raised pricing and created curated collections as quality rose. They did not and could not because the largest subscription site fully admits that they purposely kept pricing stagnate and low as a business strategy to gain market share.

There are curated collections. The micros have a different business model.

U11


« Reply #62 on: April 14, 2014, 12:25 »
0
isn't MS just a one of the Global World reflections?
it is objective and natural

« Reply #63 on: April 14, 2014, 12:51 »
-4
Why do you keep posting the same articles over and over again? It's nothing new. And you keep ignoring the non-sub options SS has introduced that bring in higher revenue.


That is right it is nothing new and yet many here continue to ignore the reality of the situation. To the point they ignore what "subscription pricing" has done to the entire industry.

The pros did not keep pricing down. The micros could have easily raised pricing and created curated collections as quality rose. They did not and could not because the largest subscription site fully admits that they purposely kept pricing stagnate and low as a business strategy to gain market share.


There are curated collections. The micros have a different business model.


That is right shutterstock recently introduced Offset and the quality of the content found there often times does not justify the increased prices they charge; because they acted too late.  And now they will have to compete with the artificially low subscription model pricing that they utilized to gain market share.

http://www.offset.com/search/New+York

http://tinyurl.com/mvdh3y5

Ron

« Reply #64 on: April 14, 2014, 13:06 »
+3
That is right it is nothing new and yet many here continue to ignore the reality of the situation. To the point they ignore what "subscription pricing" has done to the entire industry.

sorry but I don't really remember seeing you complaining about subscriptions before having serious drops in income

we are all well aware about subscriptions and also ODs/SODs/ELs, the last ones represent 42% of my income at SS

can you tell us which % of your income comes from SS?
He started submitting to SS when he got 20 cent an image. Now he gets ODDs SODs  ELs and is complaining about SS not raising prices and that their sub model is ruining the business.

Why submit your images for 20 cent in the first place.

« Reply #65 on: April 14, 2014, 13:29 »
0
Is this one of those, "It's better to give... than receive" things?  :)

Critical mass can be a good thing and a bad thing.

Really, critical mass is good for the seller (MS agency) and bad for the supplier (us).  Conversely, critical mass is good for the supplier (us) if you're the only one supplying to good customer demand.  There are nearly always winners and losers when critical mass is at play.

« Reply #66 on: April 14, 2014, 13:36 »
0
.
« Last Edit: May 11, 2014, 21:59 by tickstock »

« Reply #67 on: April 14, 2014, 13:51 »
0
Why submit your images for 20 cent in the first place.
Times change.   For the most part images submitted back then were much lower quality than images submitted now.  Look at Yuri or Andresr's images from back then and look at their latest work, clearly their work has become better.  It's no wonder some people have decided to take another approach.

by another approach do you mean still having portfolio in around 10 agencies after almost 1 year? same goes for Andrers with portfolio still online at SS after 5 months of becoming exclusive, nothing beats being a professional!

or do you mean the exciting subs at iStock? yeah I thought so!

« Reply #68 on: April 14, 2014, 13:57 »
+3
.
« Last Edit: May 11, 2014, 21:59 by tickstock »

Ron

« Reply #69 on: April 14, 2014, 13:59 »
+1
Why submit your images for 20 cent in the first place.
Times change.   For the most part images submitted back then were much lower quality than images submitted now.  Look at Yuri or Andresr's images from back then and look at their latest work, clearly their work has become better.  It's no wonder some people have decided to take another approach.
Correct, thats why you can get 120 dollar on SS now for your high quality images. Or ELs for 28 dollar. And if his work is of such quality that it shouldnt be sold on a sub site, he shouldnt put it there and submit those images to Stocksy, OFFset, Istock, Getty, Corbis, 500px, Alamy and what not.

Ron

« Reply #70 on: April 14, 2014, 14:01 »
-2
Why submit your images for 20 cent in the first place.
Times change.   For the most part images submitted back then were much lower quality than images submitted now.  Look at Yuri or Andresr's images from back then and look at their latest work, clearly their work has become better.  It's no wonder some people have decided to take another approach.

by another approach do you mean still having portfolio in around 10 agencies after almost 1 year? same goes for Andrers with portfolio still online at SS after 5 months of becoming exclusive, nothing beats being a professional!

or do you mean the exciting subs at iStock? yeah I thought so!
The point was that times change and just because someone was happy 8 years ago with the subs model doesn't mean that they have to be happy with it now.  A lot of people here have spent many hours learning, many hours shooting, and many thousands of dollars becoming better.  A model that was good at the start may not be what's best now.
Thats like saying David Beckham signed a contract at a Leage One football club and then after two years of being top scorer, he's complaining the club doesnt play Champions League. If you want to play Champions League you need to get into a Premier League club.
« Last Edit: April 14, 2014, 14:03 by Ron »

« Reply #71 on: April 14, 2014, 14:05 »
+6
.
« Last Edit: May 11, 2014, 21:58 by tickstock »

« Reply #72 on: April 14, 2014, 14:06 »
+4
Why submit your images for 20 cent in the first place.
Times change.   For the most part images submitted back then were much lower quality than images submitted now.  Look at Yuri or Andresr's images from back then and look at their latest work, clearly their work has become better.  It's no wonder some people have decided to take another approach.
I would add to this that it took a while for me to understand how my images sold best. Sometimes I was moving in the same direction as micro, but lately it seems like we are moving in opposite directions. I think it's a fair criticism of micro that it hasn't necessarily grown properly with its contributors. I assume that is why you see people complaining about it.

« Reply #73 on: April 14, 2014, 14:13 »
0
Why submit your images for 20 cent in the first place.
Times change.   For the most part images submitted back then were much lower quality than images submitted now.  Look at Yuri or Andresr's images from back then and look at their latest work, clearly their work has become better.  It's no wonder some people have decided to take another approach.

by another approach do you mean still having portfolio in around 10 agencies after almost 1 year? same goes for Andrers with portfolio still online at SS after 5 months of becoming exclusive, nothing beats being a professional!

or do you mean the exciting subs at iStock? yeah I thought so!
The point was that times change and just because someone was happy 8 years ago with the subs model doesn't mean that they have to be happy with it now.  A lot of people here have spent many hours learning, many hours shooting, and many thousands of dollars becoming better.  A model that was good at the start may not be what's best now.

I would agree in part but I never had a month at SS that I haven't done better comparing to last year/last month, I cannot say the same for any other agency and I have tested quite a few, that said I also believe that our work got obviously better but we are also getting paid more in terms of totals, ok there are a few contributors here that aren't feeling that but how many are they? in this forum I can only remember gbalex, at SS a few more (like 5 to 10 perhaps), the ones that SS decided to screw because they don't really have nothing else to do

I haven't said I wouldn't love a raise but in fact I would be quite happy if other agencies followed SS success

Ron

« Reply #74 on: April 14, 2014, 14:17 »
-2
Why submit your images for 20 cent in the first place.
Times change.   For the most part images submitted back then were much lower quality than images submitted now.  Look at Yuri or Andresr's images from back then and look at their latest work, clearly their work has become better.  It's no wonder some people have decided to take another approach.

by another approach do you mean still having portfolio in around 10 agencies after almost 1 year? same goes for Andrers with portfolio still online at SS after 5 months of becoming exclusive, nothing beats being a professional!

or do you mean the exciting subs at iStock? yeah I thought so!
The point was that times change and just because someone was happy 8 years ago with the subs model doesn't mean that they have to be happy with it now.  A lot of people here have spent many hours learning, many hours shooting, and many thousands of dollars becoming better.  A model that was good at the start may not be what's best now.
Thats like saying David Beckham signed a contract at a Leage One football club and then after two years of being top scorer, he's complaining the club doesnt play Champions League. If you want to play Champions League you need to get into a Premier League club.
No, it's like someone starting out as an amateur and getting paid little to nothing, improving their skills and wanting to get paid more.
Fair enough, so if the employer doesnt go along, you go to someone who does give you what you want. You cant ask McDonalds to pay you 50 dollar an hour when its not in their nature to pay that. So you move on to a Michelin Star restaurant.


 

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