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Author Topic: Pond is raising money from Accel Partners and Stripes Group  (Read 4486 times)

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« Reply #1 on: July 16, 2014, 13:11 »
+4
Interesting. It would nice to see them succeed while not sacrificing us on the way there.

« Reply #2 on: July 16, 2014, 13:47 »
0
I watched both of the videos on their blog and clearly they're still very, very centered on video (the guy from Accel, who will be on the board, mentioned only video in talking about what Pond5 does). I have only a few of my images there - the upload process was pretty icky and the sales not really there so I stopped.

I'd love to see someone grow to challenge the existing agencies, but video isn't my thing. Does anyone see much in the way of photo sales at Pond5?

« Reply #3 on: July 16, 2014, 13:50 »
0
I watched both of the videos on their blog and clearly they're still very, very centered on video (the guy from Accel, who will be on the board, mentioned only video in talking about what Pond5 does). I have only a few of my images there - the upload process was pretty icky and the sales not really there so I stopped.

I'd love to see someone grow to challenge the existing agencies, but video isn't my thing. Does anyone see much in the way of photo sales at Pond5?

Illustration has been pretty slow in sales, although it is a nice royalty when they come in. They have improved the upload process quite a bit this year. It still could use bulk submit controls which would make it really easy. Hopefully, they are working on that.

« Reply #4 on: July 16, 2014, 14:27 »
0

I'd love to see someone grow to challenge the existing agencies, but video isn't my thing. Does anyone see much in the way of photo sales at Pond5?

Just clips. Its been my experience that photos just don't sell. Pond5 is known for, and concentrates on, video. I've got about 300 clips, Jo Ann. A real range from historic/archival to my own present day material.

I set my own clips at $39 a pop but the archival material, everything from a young Margaret Thatcher to Nazi era material, much more. It sells, but very slowly. About one clip a month. I love the ability to set your own pricing. The best I've done so far was $120 for a 1940's  shot of a rotary phone......

I think if you're willing to play with the pricing (ie. too cheap and buyers might regard your clips poor quality without looking and too high a price and buyers will look elsewhere), you'll find some success but Pond5 has to market more and get the word out to buyers what an impressive library they have. Hopefully that'll happen with their recent partnerships.

« Reply #5 on: July 16, 2014, 14:30 »
0
Interesting news. Thanks for posting.

« Reply #6 on: July 16, 2014, 15:27 »
+1
I have a little over 1,000 pics there. Sell the occasional photo. I stay because of the ability to set my own price and the commission structure, but I was really hoping they would put a bigger push into selling stills ... and maybe they will.

« Reply #7 on: July 16, 2014, 15:29 »
+1
Great news! I love pond5. Being able to price the videos is really helpful. And setting your own prices is great, you always know how much you will earn.

Also cheaper for the customer, because I get 50% I can offer the files a little cheaper than on the other sites and still make more money.

They also have excellent and very helpful editors. Thank you for all the kind comments!

I hope they keep up their liberal and free spirit. Makes for a very creative environment.

« Reply #8 on: July 16, 2014, 17:11 »
+2
So far I'm pretty bummed with how things have been going with vectors at Pond5. And these videos they released around the Accel/Stripes deal doesn't make me feel like they have much intention of putting any additional emphasis on vectors or photos any time soon.

Which, in a way, isn't necessarily a bad thing. If video is what they are really good at and where they see the most potential, I don't blame them for focusing on that. Better to do stick with what works and not try to be too many things to too many people. It just makes me wonder why they even bothered with other media then.


« Reply #10 on: July 16, 2014, 19:26 »
+3
 Strewth, just what we need, more bloody VC's to bleed us dry.

« Reply #11 on: July 16, 2014, 19:47 »
+2
Strewth, just what we need, more bloody VC's to bleed us dry.

That was my very first thought. Those people are the human version of vultures....vulture capitalists is more like it. I have been through vc transactions in my career and it is ALL ABOUT THE MONEY THEY GET.

« Reply #12 on: July 16, 2014, 21:48 »
+2
Strewth, just what we need, more bloody VC's to bleed us dry.


That was my very first thought. Those people are the human version of vultures....vulture capitalists is more like it.

I have been through vc transactions in my career and it is ALL ABOUT THE MONEY THEY GET.


Completely agree it is all about money. As a very rough estimate, shutterstock's annual revenue last year was $235,515,000 and in their earnings call they stated that contributor royalties, made up approximately 28% of revenue. That would be aprox $65,944,200

Insight Venture Capitol granted its self millions of shares of SSTK stock at a cost of $0.00

I have not been keeping close track of shares sold, but have recorded that they sold at the very least 7,276,276  SSTK shares in 2013 & 2014

Lets say they sold them at an average prive of $85.00 per share. That would be $618,483,460 for Insight Venture Partners alone vs $65,944,000 revenue for all shutterstock contributors combined.

That does not even include SSTK stock shares sold by the key executives that Insight Venture Partners put in place at shutterstock prior to the IPO. I can't bring myself to add them up right now, but you can bet the exec totals, dwarf contributor royalties. 

http://www.microstockgroup.com/shutterstock-com/shutterstock-cfo-dumps-13-of-his-stock-friday-june-20-2014/
« Last Edit: July 17, 2014, 17:48 by gbalex »

« Reply #13 on: July 16, 2014, 22:40 »
+3
Great.  Another site falls pray to these parasites.  If I made any money there I would be upset.  As it is, when they bought pixmac my sales there stopped over night and never did come back. 

« Reply #14 on: July 17, 2014, 03:15 »
+1
I like the last part from the Forbes article: " As Jane Friedman, former head of News Corps HarperCollins and founder of Open Road media, told me a few months back:   You have to own the pipes, but if you dont have anything flowing through it, what are the pipes going to do?
"

I sincerly hope pond5 was able to find VC partners that actually are aware what is going on in the media industry and that understand that all the "crowd sourcing talk" is the hot air for marketing people.

If they do anything to damage the free and entrepreneurial business culture of pond5, if they destroy the fair trade 50/50 split, they will see pond5 suffer the way the other sites suffered that played games with us.

The video artists are even more deeply networked than the photographers. Removing content and sending it elsewhere can be done with a few mouse clicks.

On the other hand, pond5 has all the momentum behind them right now, because the artist community is ready to support a fair trade plattform that welcomes all styles and genres and gives the artist commercial control over their portfolios.

So if the VC money is used in a clever way to break into the photo market or to further expand their video revenue, they can turn it into a win win for everyone. The VCs can cash out when pond5 goes public one day and the artists can benefit from more sales because there is more money to invest in marketing, pretty up the site, etc...

Shutterstock did very well because they always made sure they have a top notch reputation in the artistic community. They are a reliable partner to work with. Pond5 has an equally good reputation.

So please keep it this way.

Dont do what Getty did to istock. It doesnt work.

ETA: I really hope this is good news and that pond5 now can find a way to get into the photo market as well. There is a lot of great talent ready to push a reliable and honest plattform. Just dont talk down to us like we are stupid children or try to micromanage our commercial interests. Meet us at eye level and you will be fine.
« Last Edit: July 17, 2014, 03:26 by cobalt »

« Reply #15 on: July 17, 2014, 20:53 »
0
Quote from:  link=topic=23067.msg387556#msg387556 date=1405584941
So if the VC money is used in a clever way to break into the photo market or to further expand their video revenue, they can turn it into a win win for everyone. The VCs can cash out when pond5 goes public one day and the artists can benefit from more sales because there is more money to invest in marketing, pretty up the site, etc...

Shutterstock did very well because they always made sure they have a top notch reputation in the artistic community. They are a reliable partner to work with. Pond5 has an equally good reputation.

Count me deeply skeptical, sounds like VC marketing bollocks. Let us see how thrilled we are when the SS IPO game reaches conclusion.


« Reply #16 on: July 17, 2014, 21:47 »
+3
I'm not going to disparage them for things they haven't done yet. I know conspiracy theories run high here, but I think they've earned the benefit of the doubt so far.

« Reply #17 on: July 18, 2014, 05:10 »
0
They started out with just 500k. Look at what they built! That is a really beautiful, sustainable and well managed business. They have proven they are careful with money, so I am sure they will put the new capital to good use. They said they want to double their staff etc...so this gives me a lot of confidence they will grow. Ill definetly make sure my pictures go there as well.

« Reply #18 on: July 18, 2014, 06:50 »
+7
They started out with just 500k. Look at what they built! That is a really beautiful, sustainable and well managed business. They have proven they are careful with money, so I am sure they will put the new capital to good use. They said they want to double their staff etc...so this gives me a lot of confidence they will grow. Ill definetly make sure my pictures go there as well.

I agree with you. I do sincerely hope pond5 uses the money wisely and fights for its contributors. My trepidation as I've previously posted is that I've not seen a vc ever do anything for suppliers but gouge them. Money is a powerful influencer and a mean source of power. Generally vc's don't invest money for the long haul, they want a specific kind of return in a specific timeframe at any cost and that is primarily why I have a slight skeptical tone. I am speaking "in general" based on my personal experiences with vc, what happened at Istock, etc.

« Reply #19 on: July 18, 2014, 12:30 »
+1
They started out with just 500k. Look at what they built! That is a really beautiful, sustainable and well managed business. They have proven they are careful with money, so I am sure they will put the new capital to good use. They said they want to double their staff etc...so this gives me a lot of confidence they will grow. Ill definetly make sure my pictures go there as well.

I agree with you. I do sincerely hope pond5 uses the money wisely and fights for its contributors. My trepidation as I've previously posted is that I've not seen a vc ever do anything for suppliers but gouge them. Money is a powerful influencer and a mean source of power. Generally vc's don't invest money for the long haul, they want a specific kind of return in a specific timeframe at any cost and that is primarily why I have a slight skeptical tone. I am speaking "in general" based on my personal experiences with vc, what happened at Istock, etc.

There is a timeframe for "Return On Investment" and I am sure the VC's watched &  liked the fast leap to IPO at Shutterstock. Venture capital firms, are not in the business of funding inventors or inventions, they are in the business of funding fast-growing companies.

Considering the first three years as initial investments, a company could only have a 4 to 7 years to "hit meaningful stride", before the VC's expect their investment to leap to IPO or fat ROI. At shutterstock the Vc's promptly put key executives and systems in place to manipulate contributor earnings to drive up revenue at contributor expense. I am sure they view earnings tiers as a vehicle to drive up stock prices with glee.

« Reply #20 on: July 19, 2014, 07:36 »
+3
Maybe they can use that money to fix their upload system's inability to retain capital letters as such. Appears to be harder to achieve than world peace.


 

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