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Author Topic: One dollar video sales  (Read 6217 times)

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« on: December 11, 2020, 07:27 »
0
Recently I got two sales of HD videos, and my commission was $1.06 each. The price listed for the videos on Pond5 is 40. Shouldn't I get at least 40% commission? How is this fair? I thought Pond5 was embracing fairness toward contributors as its core value in opposition to other agencies like Shutterstock. :(


« Reply #1 on: December 11, 2020, 08:11 »
+1
If you sell your videos on another site, say Shutterstock, and they are sold at a lower price, P5 sells for that price, no matter what you list them for at P5. If you only sell at P5, then the question might need to be asked from support. They also deeply discount whenever they want.

« Reply #2 on: December 11, 2020, 08:17 »
0
They are indeed sold on Shutterstock too, but not at a lower price. We are talking about single purchases, not subscriptions

« Reply #3 on: December 11, 2020, 09:50 »
+6
Well, P5 has asked me to agree to giving video clips for free. Even after I said no, they continue to ask me to reconsider, saying they would give away 1-4 clips per artist, and that's minimal in their mind.

If we give away our work for free, we would also lose copyright control over our work. We will no longer be able to tell if it was a copyright infringement or not. Even if an agency sells for $1 or less (that's terrible, too), there are paper trails of transaction and license agreement in place.

The particular clip they want to give away was a time lapse from a very unique location. I have said explicitly that I would not permit any of my work to be given away for free.

« Reply #4 on: December 11, 2020, 10:31 »
+5
Well, P5 has asked me to agree to giving video clips for free. Even after I said no, they continue to ask me to reconsider, saying they would give away 1-4 clips per artist, and that's minimal in their mind.

If we give away our work for free, we would also lose copyright control over our work. We will no longer be able to tell if it was a copyright infringement or not. Even if an agency sells for $1 or less (that's terrible, too), there are paper trails of transaction and license agreement in place.

The particular clip they want to give away was a time lapse from a very unique location. I have said explicitly that I would not permit any of my work to be given away for free.
It is always sad to see one's profession belittled in this way  >:(

« Reply #5 on: December 11, 2020, 11:12 »
+6
It is very much the race to the bottom because most contributors accept the terms agencies
give them. And with 8+ million contributors what do they care about you or me? I've said it
before in posts and I'll say it again....The only way we can resolve this problem is for contributors
to create their own agency and collectively go "exclusive". And that's never going to happen
so someday down the road all images and clips will be free to the agencies but "you will retain rights and be given credit".

« Reply #6 on: December 11, 2020, 11:51 »
+3
there should be a union

« Reply #7 on: December 11, 2020, 23:39 »
0
Recently I got two sales of HD videos, and my commission was $1.06 each. The price listed for the videos on Pond5 is 40. Shouldn't I get at least 40% commission? How is this fair? I thought Pond5 was embracing fairness toward contributors as its core value in opposition to other agencies like Shutterstock. :(
If you have opted in their LLP plan then videos are sold for that price only. If not then it isn't right

Uncle Pete

  • Great Place by a Great Lake - My Home Port
« Reply #8 on: December 12, 2020, 15:10 »
+3
there should be a union

And what will the union do to force the agencies to negotiate. In order for a union to function, you would have to be able to control the labor supply or in the case of Microstock, the production of images. With nothing to withhold and no leverage, a photographers union for Microstock would have no power. That's why there's no union.

« Reply #9 on: December 12, 2020, 15:39 »
0
The "Contributor's Union" would have their own website whereby they submit
exclusively to that site. They manage and adjust operations based on a collective vote.
Maintaining and controlling the site would be derived from "union dues". If say,
you sell an image for $2.00us, $1.00us goes toward union website operations.
Someone would have to be hired to manage the website. Someone with strong
union background skills. Insuring that "scabs" aren't submitting to other sites would
be a major issue. That, and gaining the initial confidence of contributors that more
money can be made by joining the union.

Noedelhap

  • www.colincramm.com

« Reply #10 on: December 12, 2020, 17:24 »
+1
there should be a union

There is now The Stock Coalition: https://stockcoalition.org/

SpaceStockFootage

  • Space, Sci-Fi and Astronomy Related Stock Footage

« Reply #11 on: December 12, 2020, 17:34 »
+1
The "Contributor's Union" would have their own website whereby they submit
exclusively to that site. They manage and adjust operations based on a collective vote.
Maintaining and controlling the site would be derived from "union dues". If say,
you sell an image for $2.00us, $1.00us goes toward union website operations.
Someone would have to be hired to manage the website. Someone with strong
union background skills. Insuring that "scabs" aren't submitting to other sites would
be a major issue. That, and gaining the initial confidence of contributors that more
money can be made by joining the union.

50% cut to the union?! Surely their first job would then be to increase royalties by more than 100% to offset the cost and make it worthwhile... which would never happen!
« Last Edit: December 12, 2020, 17:36 by SpaceStockFootage »

« Reply #12 on: December 12, 2020, 23:09 »
0
What works? What doesn't work? Dialogue is good while we collectively
anticipate our next $0.10 commission......

Uncle Pete

  • Great Place by a Great Lake - My Home Port
« Reply #13 on: December 13, 2020, 14:58 »
0
The "Contributor's Union" would have their own website whereby they submit
exclusively to that site. They manage and adjust operations based on a collective vote.
Maintaining and controlling the site would be derived from "union dues". If say,
you sell an image for $2.00us, $1.00us goes toward union website operations.
Someone would have to be hired to manage the website. Someone with strong
union background skills. Insuring that "scabs" aren't submitting to other sites would
be a major issue. That, and gaining the initial confidence of contributors that more
money can be made by joining the union.

Sounds more like a co-op and sure a artist owned site, demanding exclusive would be interesting. How many people would go exclusive for 50%? (how many people would go exclusive on a small unknown, new site?) But more than that, what would the union dues do to stop the cheap sites like IS giving us 15% or SS giving us 10c sub downloads.

How would that site and union do anything to change the market as it is now? How would that force agencies to pay us better. Especially since the union is exclusive, why would the places care, since they couldn't get images from any union person?

there should be a union

There is now The Stock Coalition: https://stockcoalition.org/


How's that going? Has the Stock Coalition been able to accomplish anything. I think there was some kind of deal with Pond5?


« Reply #14 on: December 13, 2020, 18:57 »
0
This title make remember me the Dollar Tree Store, in that store all is selling for one dollar! :P

« Reply #15 on: December 14, 2020, 10:13 »
0
This title make remember me the Dollar Tree Store, in that store all is selling for one dollar! :P

That's right....and my last ten RPI images with the SS was $0.23. It should be called the "$0.23 store" >:(. Dreamstime's RPI is $1.67. Which begs the question, why are people still contributing to the SS?

Here's another idea I'm going to toss out there while sticking to the subject of empowering contributors.

What about the idea of hiring a legal council? Everyone contributes 1% of their image income to maintain a legal consulting team hired to provide advice when agencies change or alter their legal agreement with contributors.

Seven years ago the SS used a "bait and switch" tactic to lure contributors into submitting more images. They told us at the time that the least you would make would be $0.33us a sale and the more you make the higher that base rate would climb. Seven years later they pulled the rug from under every contributing photographer and arbitrarily changed the agreement whereby the base rate is now$0.10us. Legal perhaps for the new contributors signing up - but was the bait and switch tactic legal when contributors signed up long before the change?

A legal council would look at those sort of "contract tactics" and let us know if it's legal AND provide legal methods of retaliation.

Another idea. Empowerment is essential for every contributor.


SpaceStockFootage

  • Space, Sci-Fi and Astronomy Related Stock Footage

« Reply #16 on: December 14, 2020, 11:55 »
0
If they'd said the minimum you'll ever earn in perpetuity is $0.33 per download, then you might have a case, but they're well within their rights to alter their commission structure. Don't need a legal team for that. While empowerment is always desirable, the only real power we have is to choose to accept their terms or leave. Or stay but stop uploading new stuff. 

« Reply #17 on: December 14, 2020, 15:12 »
0
While empowerment is always desirable, the only real power we have is to choose to accept their terms or leave. Or stay but stop uploading new stuff.

Ok. How about everyone who has images with Bigstock removes all but one of their images? It's owned by the SS. It costs money to keep the company operating yet few of us make any real money contributing to the agency. BTW, and yes, I was one of those who kept my portfolio with the SS but hasn't contributed since the changed rates.

Empowerment is protection against unfair business practices.

 

Uncle Pete

  • Great Place by a Great Lake - My Home Port
« Reply #18 on: December 14, 2020, 15:39 »
0
This title make remember me the Dollar Tree Store, in that store all is selling for one dollar! :P

Like the Fotolia Dollar Photo Club? I left along with the protesters and look what happened? Now I lost images that AS won't take, that FT already had in the collection and they sold. I joined the protest at IS and now nothing changed, I have about 901 images. Nice that they give me 4 cent downloads and have a minimum of 2 cents.  >:( Bigstock, was paying me 50c a download, when SS bought them, it went to 25c, unless someone had 50,000 downloads. Really! Remember that? I left. 123RF which changed their levels, I wasn't making enough to care, I left.

It's written in the TOS that the agencies can change the rules, as they please and as far as I know, every one of them has. Even some that promised never less than 50% have changed, maybe it's only for new images that the new commission. But another way around that is, yes you get 50%, but they charge the buyers much less, so we'd get 50% of a tiny number.


Ok. How about everyone who has images with Bigstock removes all but one of their images? It's owned by the SS. It costs money to keep the company operating yet few of us make any real money contributing to the agency. BTW, and yes, I was one of those who kept my portfolio with the SS but hasn't contributed since the changed rates.

Empowerment is protection against unfair business practices.

 

What about the idea of hiring a legal council? Everyone contributes 1% of their image income to maintain a legal consulting team hired to provide advice when agencies change or alter their legal agreement with contributors.

A legal council would look at those sort of "contract tactics" and let us know if it's legal AND provide legal methods of retaliation.

Another idea. Empowerment is essential for every contributor.


Go ask a lawyer, free consultation, and find out, there's nothing to sue for or retaliate. They did nothing illegal, none of the above agencies did. They have the right to change the contract.

I'll leave this for anyone else to explain, but as a contributor, we have no power over the agencies. People say "if everyone pulled their images..." really? The whole world joining together?

You can't go on strike, like truck drivers or factory workers or something else where skills and labor are involved.
Forming a union would do nothing, because there's no leverage, nothing to hurt the agencies, nothing to hold back, so they would pay more.

While empowerment is always desirable, the only real power we have is to choose to accept their terms or leave. Or stay but stop uploading new stuff.

That's the way it is. Stay and keep working, or stay and upload nothing new, or leave and take your creative images with you. That's a personal choice.

farbled

« Reply #19 on: December 14, 2020, 15:53 »
0
The only way I see any way to improve the average* contributor lot is the same as what Stocksy did, but on a smaller scale. If it were me, I would get together a half dozen or so contributors with complementary portfolios (size, quality, etc) and build my own site. Its not hard or even expensive to do that much, the hard part is, as always, marketing and finding clients within your area.

But if you develop that solid niche, and have a big enough (exclusive) collection, you can potentially be a disruptor, and perhaps either make a deal with an agency that is better than the terms for the average user, or, you can go after your own markets.

 *edit - "average" being those of us who are perhaps not the top tier, but work hard at this too.
« Last Edit: December 14, 2020, 15:57 by farbled »

« Reply #20 on: December 15, 2020, 09:43 »
+1
Go ask a lawyer, free consultation, and find out, there's nothing to sue for or retaliate. They did nothing illegal, none of the above agencies did. They have the right to change the contract.

I don't need a lawyer to tell me that "bait and switch" business practices are illegal, at least in my part of the world.

https://www.investopedia.com/terms/b/bait-switch.asp

....but when there's only a handful of contributors responding to the topic it's pretty obvious that a class action lawsuit isn't worth the time and effort.

SpaceStockFootage

  • Space, Sci-Fi and Astronomy Related Stock Footage

« Reply #21 on: December 15, 2020, 10:56 »
+2
While you may not need a lawyer to tell you that bait and switch tactics are illegal, you probably would need one to define exactly what is and what isn't classed as bait and switch... as I'd be very surprised if this qualifies.

Or are you saying that if a company advertises a price, rate, fee or commission for a product or service... then that have to honour that for the rest of time?

Uncle Pete

  • Great Place by a Great Lake - My Home Port
« Reply #22 on: December 15, 2020, 14:18 »
+1
The only way I see any way to improve the average* contributor lot is the same as what Stocksy did, but on a smaller scale. If it were me, I would get together a half dozen or so contributors with complementary portfolios (size, quality, etc) and build my own site. Its not hard or even expensive to do that much, the hard part is, as always, marketing and finding clients within your area.

But if you develop that solid niche, and have a big enough (exclusive) collection, you can potentially be a disruptor, and perhaps either make a deal with an agency that is better than the terms for the average user, or, you can go after your own markets.

 *edit - "average" being those of us who are perhaps not the top tier, but work hard at this too.

When I win the lottery, you're invited to my stock site.  :) 40% because the agency side will be gobbled up by marketing, software engineers and hosting.

I agree with your idea, that a smaller site could work and with minimal overhead, get decent response. The biggest expense or largest problem about a self hosted agency is just what you wrote. Marketing and finding buyers. Anyone looking for images, using any search engine, will see the paid  ads, the big already established sites, and multiple entries. Best a little site would do is down the pages, fairly unseen.

Lets not forget that someone did try that with (if my memory is present today) Warmpics? He built and agency site, invited established people with good reliable portfolios, many if not all, from here. He still had to abandon the idea after a really good effort.

That wasn't exclusive, I don't know if anyone is willing to take the chance to be exclusive anywhere new anymore, with the exception of Stocksy which has a positive track record and produces a return for artists.

there should be a union

There is now The Stock Coalition: https://stockcoalition.org/


I'll ask again, didn't the coalition make some kind of deal with P5. Has anything else come up? I don't think the whole project just disappeared and evaporated. I honestly thought that for the people who joined, they might make some waves and change something? Maybe not on the big agencies, but potentially somewhere that's trying to grow and attract more artists?


farbled

« Reply #23 on: December 15, 2020, 14:37 »
0
Yup. I think only exclusive and niche would work in my scenario, not much point if the same stuff is available elsewhere. Since I know (or knew) the junior mining industry (one of my niches is minerals and rare earth metals), I would go beat on doors with the marketing companies that do the work for these guys. These are mostly venture companies who flog their shares and marketing is huge for them. Its actually how I found out about stock photography to begin with back in the day.

I would also pick only a half dozen or so partners, with a limit on images, prices, diversity, etc. Get it all sorted upfront so you don't have someone with 10k images and one with only 200. Then devise a marketing plan that will target your niche. Competing with MS agencies in their arena seems a waste of effort to me. Lots of companies out there that have never heard of them. :)

edit* relying on search engine placement doesn't seem a good strategy for me. It would be like competing with Walmart for the exact same audience. Doomed. Better to think of ways to target those who don't go to Walmart at all. That's where the niche stuff comes in. :)

Good luck with the lottery!
« Last Edit: December 15, 2020, 14:49 by farbled »

farbled

« Reply #24 on: December 15, 2020, 14:47 »
0
. duplicate


 

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