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Author Topic: The membership program is a disaster for contributors.  (Read 14173 times)

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« on: May 22, 2016, 09:37 »
+3
I think Pond5 is making less money overall with the membership program too.  They should get rid of it.  No contributor should participate in that either.  It's a simple math.  If you surrender your precious video clips to that program, you are giving your HD and 4k clips for less than $14 each.  That's horrendous. 

https://www.pond5.com/membership
« Last Edit: May 22, 2016, 09:42 by helloitsme »


« Reply #1 on: May 22, 2016, 15:21 »
+2
Actually p5 is playing quite clever and will probably kill all of us artists.
It is making less money at the moment it is true: before they were making about $30 per sale ($60 minus the commission for artists), now they are making about $5 per sale in the horrible membership thing.
But they have managed to put together 200.000 hand picked clips of excellent quality, covering basically all the customers needs.
Their aim is to take the whole video stock market, basically the customers of SS, FT and VB and they will probably manage to do it very quickly, unless the other agencies will respond immediately by lowering their prices to single digit per clip.
P5 has started the biggest price war ever seen in the stock market and the artists who participate at the program gave them the rope to hang us all

« Reply #2 on: May 22, 2016, 16:26 »
+1
Can't the people in the membership collection thing opt out?  I don't think people thought P5 would select high quality clips.  If they opt out, P5 will disappoint any buyers they have taken from other sites and will only hurt themselves.

I don't think the other sites will get in to a price war, as it isn't the only reason buyers use sites.  That's obvious with stills, many sites do well selling the same images at higher prices.

« Reply #3 on: May 22, 2016, 16:49 »
+1
Can't the people in the membership collection thing opt out?  I don't think people thought P5 would select high quality clips.  If they opt out, P5 will disappoint any buyers they have taken from other sites and will only hurt themselves.

I don't think the other sites will get in to a price war, as it isn't the only reason buyers use sites.  That's obvious with stills, many sites do well selling the same images at higher prices.
As far as I know the contributors can get out of the scheme, but somebody should make them understand the situation.
If many of them opt out, then things will go back to normal.
This time the dumpng from p5 is too strong: for the price of 1 clip customers can download 10 clips. SS, FT and VB will have to react or die

« Reply #4 on: May 22, 2016, 17:48 »
+5
Unlike Videoblocks, Pond5's membership program consists of contributors' clips not Pond5's  own clips.  So, if everybody in the membership opts out, there'll be no membership clips.  Giving your clips to the membership program is like cutting your own wrist with a knife.  It's not good.
« Last Edit: May 22, 2016, 21:59 by helloitsme »

« Reply #5 on: May 22, 2016, 18:54 »
+3
Unlike Videoblocks, Pond5's membership program consists of contributors' clips not Pond5's  own clips.  So, if everybody in the membership opt out, there'll be no membership clips.  Giving your clips to the membership program is like cutting your own wrist with a knife.  It's not good.

Therein lies the carrot.....members get paid beyond the $6 to have their clips in that collection.  I am sure most are happy with that and really have no concern for the long term ramifications to the industry as a whole.  Honestly, the way things are going across this whole industry I am not sure I would say no if I were invited....take it while I can get it.  It's like a guaranteed income where P5 must have used some form of actuary tables to determine that they can afford to pay members a fee for having their clips in the fancy collection. Otherwise I struggle to see how it can be profitable.

« Reply #6 on: May 22, 2016, 21:59 »
+3
Let's do the math.  Pond5 has 200,000 clips in the membership program now.  They pay $100,000/month to contributors who participate in the program, right?  Membership is $69/month now, but will be $99/month eventually. 

https://www.pond5.com/membership

It will take roughly 1,000 membership buyers to cover the cost of paying contributors.  After 1,000, it's all Pond5's.  If they get 2,000 members, They make $100,000/month by selling HD/4k clips for about $20 per clip.  Before the membership, probably the buyers used to pay $50+ per clip.  Now, they get it for $20/clip although the selection is limited, but vast at the same time.

Is my math correct?

« Reply #7 on: May 22, 2016, 22:31 »
+5
Let's do the math.  Pond5 has 200,000 clips in the membership program now.  They pay $100,000/month to contributors who participate in the program, right?  Membership is $69/month now, but will be $99/month eventually. 

https://www.pond5.com/membership

It will take roughly 1,000 membership buyers to cover the cost of paying contributors.  After 1,000, it's all Pond5's.  If they get 2,000 members, They make $100,000/month by selling HD/4k clips for about $20 per clip.  Before the membership, probably the buyers used to pay $50+ per clip.  Now, they get it for $20/clip although the selection is limited, but vast at the same time.

Is my math correct?

Contributors also get a cut of any sales over the $100,000 threshold, a little difference, but enough to keep the contributors in the scheme salivating.  Surely there must be a salivating smiley.

alno

« Reply #8 on: May 23, 2016, 03:17 »
+4
If you surrender your precious video clips to that program, you are giving your HD and 4k clips for less than $14 each.  That's horrendous. 

https://www.pond5.com/membership

Where is this 'membership' option for contributors located? I guess every person who used to buy drones, fancy cameras and lighting on stock money and who sacrifices his or her work to this nice membership should be very careful with their drones, fancy cameras and lighting since they will not buy any replacement within the next century.
« Last Edit: May 23, 2016, 03:20 by Irina Anosova »

« Reply #9 on: May 23, 2016, 04:30 »
+8
Post deleted
« Last Edit: May 23, 2016, 18:37 by Pablito »

« Reply #10 on: May 23, 2016, 05:16 »
0
Great post Pablito, I agree with pretty much everything

« Reply #11 on: May 23, 2016, 07:43 »
0
OK, so anybody else making more money participating in the membership program?

« Reply #12 on: May 23, 2016, 07:44 »
+1
If you surrender your precious video clips to that program, you are giving your HD and 4k clips for less than $14 each.  That's horrendous. 

https://www.pond5.com/membership

Where is this 'membership' option for contributors located? I guess every person who used to buy drones, fancy cameras and lighting on stock money and who sacrifices his or her work to this nice membership should be very careful with their drones, fancy cameras and lighting since they will not buy any replacement within the next century.

It is by invite only.

« Reply #13 on: May 23, 2016, 08:09 »
+5
@helloitsme, the P5 subscription is merely another salvo in the tit-for-tat battle that's been raging the past 25+ years. You are a proponent of a recent subscription service that you believe is paying you more therefore more worthy, and pardon the vulgarity, but you came into that scheme on the tit end of the saying. It's a tat now and you don't like it.

« Reply #14 on: May 23, 2016, 10:45 »
0
@helloitsme, the P5 subscription is merely another salvo in the tit-for-tat battle that's been raging the past 25+ years. You are a proponent of a recent subscription service that you believe is paying you more therefore more worthy, and pardon the vulgarity, but you came into that scheme on the tit end of the saying. It's a tat now and you don't like it.

What?  Are you the Anonymous or something?  It's my fault now? 

« Reply #15 on: May 23, 2016, 16:39 »
+9
@ Pablito
I like your attitude.
It is similar to mine: I have always been shoot, process, upload, shooit, process upload. I have never posted in forum.
Until now. What p5 is doing is just too dangerous. A sudden dumping like this has never happened, not  even in the still image market.
Overnight the market price of clips has gone from $70 to $7 and it was not called for. In video, prices could have stayed around this area for quite a while, then start to drift down, but at least 5-6 years before they reached single digit numbers.
For the moment you are happy because p5 are putting you on top of the search engine, so you are still experiencing a few sales.
In a couple of months you will realise that all your regular sales in p5 will desappear, also the sales from SS, FT, VB will disappear and you will realise that you have sold yourself for a couple of breadcrumbs.
You say you are clever beacause the money is in your bank. But what money? Maybe $1,000 from a portfolio of probably several thousands clips.
You are giving them the rope to hang you for very, very cheap
« Last Edit: May 24, 2016, 02:36 by Brightontl »

« Reply #16 on: May 23, 2016, 16:59 »
+4
Nah, not prepared to share the thread with that kind of language.

........Ah, that's better - you've reverted to a reasonable discussion and got rid of the expletives and F words - well done.......

I don't actually believe I'm getting sales because of the search engine giving me preference. That's because what I shoot generally only has 1 page of results - often only 1/2 page - so placement doesn't matter. The competition tends to be pretty weak as well.

If you're still shooting ducks or very common, not-in-demand subjects or 1,000s of similars; then the search engine is going to sink you - even if it didn't there's only slim pickings there anyway.

Love your figure estimates - you must think I do nothing but answer your questions. $1000 a month sure isn't going to keep anyone in business - my cigar bill is higher than that (that's a joke by the way - I don't smoke)
I do agree this whole membership is a risk - I didn't dream it up - I'm just a RM stills photographer who found his income hit by RF then microstocking part-timers, then microstocking full-timers.
But now the shoe is on the other foot. The scheme was happening - I had a choice to be part of it or not and see what happens next. You weren't offered it - have you wondered why that is? You of course, would have refused, but the point is: why weren't you given the choice? I know and you know.

I learned long ago that trying to get stock producers to form a cartel is like herding cats - it ain't gonna happen; so one might as well make the best of what is happening.

I still believe money in my bank right now gives me more options than faith, hope and charity.





« Last Edit: May 24, 2016, 08:38 by Pablito »

« Reply #17 on: May 24, 2016, 01:22 »
+2
Nah, not prepared to share the thread with that kind of language.

"Smart" move...the risk is too high to lose that good algorithm position by discussing openly here.
They are watching you! Be afraid, be very afraid...that's what they want.

« Reply #18 on: May 24, 2016, 09:25 »
+1
@helloitsme, the P5 subscription is merely another salvo in the tit-for-tat battle that's been raging the past 25+ years. You are a proponent of a recent subscription service that you believe is paying you more therefore more worthy, and pardon the vulgarity, but you came into that scheme on the tit end of the saying. It's a tat now and you don't like it.

What?  Are you the Anonymous or something?  It's my fault now?
As @Pablito so succinctly put it, the shoe is merely on the other foot is all. No fault, just a recurring condition. All I'm hearing from you is "my subscription program is better than your subscription program" and your not getting all the facts correct to make a proper argument.

« Reply #19 on: May 24, 2016, 11:19 »
+4
Nah, not prepared to share the thread with that kind of language.

........Ah, that's better - you've reverted to a reasonable discussion and got rid of the expletives and F words - well done.......

I don't actually believe I'm getting sales because of the search engine giving me preference. That's because what I shoot generally only has 1 page of results - often only 1/2 page - so placement doesn't matter. The competition tends to be pretty weak as well.

If you're still shooting ducks or very common, not-in-demand subjects or 1,000s of similars; then the search engine is going to sink you - even if it didn't there's only slim pickings there anyway.

Love your figure estimates - you must think I do nothing but answer your questions. $1000 a month sure isn't going to keep anyone in business - my cigar bill is higher than that (that's a joke by the way - I don't smoke)
I do agree this whole membership is a risk - I didn't dream it up - I'm just a RM stills photographer who found his income hit by RF then microstocking part-timers, then microstocking full-timers.
But now the shoe is on the other foot. The scheme was happening - I had a choice to be part of it or not and see what happens next. You weren't offered it - have you wondered why that is? You of course, would have refused, but the point is: why weren't you given the choice? I know and you know.

I learned long ago that trying to get stock producers to form a cartel is like herding cats - it ain't gonna happen; so one might as well make the best of what is happening.

I still believe money in my bank right now gives me more options than faith, hope and charity.
I agree with you on many aspect and as I said I never posted in forums, but rather spend my time shooting and uploading.
The only reason why I am speaking out now is that this membership thing in p5 is making the video clip market crash too early, to soon to $6 for a clip.
200.000 hand picked, good quality clips at ten clips for the price of one is really a lot.
There are a bit more than 5 million clips on the pond. If you take away the bad ones, you are left with less than a million good quality clips. If you take away the repetitions, than you have about that number of good, non-duplicated clips. Basically the membership area is all a customer needs, plus it is much easier for them to find what they want, avoiding repetitions.
I am pretty much sure that in a couple of month, once all customers will be aware of the scheme, there will be no more sales outside the memberhip. At the same time a lot of customers will move from SS, FT and VB to this place and sales will dry up for all of us. All sales will be in the membership area where royalties to artists are not paid.
I guess SS, FT will have to react to this state of things very quickly and bring their prices for clips to single digit. They just have no choice, they cannot compete selling clips at $70 against $6.
Probably P5 will be the first to die in this war price, as they rely only on clip sales, while the other also have photo.
I know that artists cartels have never worked before, but such a dumping never occurred before, even in still images, the prices dropped at a much slower pace, not from $70 to $6 overnight.
And in this case all is needed is that artist get their clips back from the membership. Then we can probably enjoy a few more years doing what we like

« Reply #20 on: May 24, 2016, 11:25 »
+1
Nah, not prepared to share the thread with that kind of language.

........Ah, that's better - you've reverted to a reasonable discussion and got rid of the expletives and F words - well done.......

I don't actually believe I'm getting sales because of the search engine giving me preference. That's because what I shoot generally only has 1 page of results - often only 1/2 page - so placement doesn't matter. The competition tends to be pretty weak as well.

If you're still shooting ducks or very common, not-in-demand subjects or 1,000s of similars; then the search engine is going to sink you - even if it didn't there's only slim pickings there anyway.

Love your figure estimates - you must think I do nothing but answer your questions. $1000 a month sure isn't going to keep anyone in business - my cigar bill is higher than that (that's a joke by the way - I don't smoke)
I do agree this whole membership is a risk - I didn't dream it up - I'm just a RM stills photographer who found his income hit by RF then microstocking part-timers, then microstocking full-timers.
But now the shoe is on the other foot. The scheme was happening - I had a choice to be part of it or not and see what happens next. You weren't offered it - have you wondered why that is? You of course, would have refused, but the point is: why weren't you given the choice? I know and you know.

I learned long ago that trying to get stock producers to form a cartel is like herding cats - it ain't gonna happen; so one might as well make the best of what is happening.

I still believe money in my bank right now gives me more options than faith, hope and charity.
I agree with you on many aspect and as I said I never posted in forums, but rather spend my time shooting and uploading.
The only reason why I am speaking out now is that this membership thing in p5 is making the video clip market crash too early, to soon to $6 for a clip.
200.000 hand picked, good quality clips at ten clips for the price of one is really a lot.
There are a bit more than 5 million clips on the pond. If you take away the bad ones, you are left with less than a million good quality clips. If you take away the repetitions, than you have about that number of good, non-duplicated clips. Basically the membership area is all a customer needs, plus it is much easier for them to find what they want, avoiding repetitions.
I am pretty much sure that in a couple of month, once all customers will be aware of the scheme, there will be no more sales outside the memberhip. At the same time a lot of customers will move from SS, FT and VB to this place and sales will dry up for all of us. All sales will be in the membership area where royalties to artists are not paid.
I guess SS, FT will have to react to this state of things very quickly and bring their prices for clips to single digit. They just have no choice, they cannot compete selling clips at $70 against $6.
Probably P5 will be the first to die in this war price, as they rely only on clip sales, while the other also have photo.
I know that artists cartels have never worked before, but such a dumping never occurred before, even in still images, the prices dropped at a much slower pace, not from $70 to $6 overnight.
And in this case all is needed is that artist get their clips back from the membership. Then we can probably enjoy a few more years doing what we like


It seems like almost everybody who aren't participating in the membership program aren't happy now.  That's bad.  Bad for the contributors as a whole and bad for the industry too maybe.

« Reply #21 on: May 24, 2016, 14:57 »
+2
Nah, not prepared to share the thread with that kind of language.

........Ah, that's better - you've reverted to a reasonable discussion and got rid of the expletives and F words - well done.......

I don't actually believe I'm getting sales because of the search engine giving me preference. That's because what I shoot generally only has 1 page of results - often only 1/2 page - so placement doesn't matter. The competition tends to be pretty weak as well.

If you're still shooting ducks or very common, not-in-demand subjects or 1,000s of similars; then the search engine is going to sink you - even if it didn't there's only slim pickings there anyway.

Love your figure estimates - you must think I do nothing but answer your questions. $1000 a month sure isn't going to keep anyone in business - my cigar bill is higher than that (that's a joke by the way - I don't smoke)
I do agree this whole membership is a risk - I didn't dream it up - I'm just a RM stills photographer who found his income hit by RF then microstocking part-timers, then microstocking full-timers.
But now the shoe is on the other foot. The scheme was happening - I had a choice to be part of it or not and see what happens next. You weren't offered it - have you wondered why that is? You of course, would have refused, but the point is: why weren't you given the choice? I know and you know.

I learned long ago that trying to get stock producers to form a cartel is like herding cats - it ain't gonna happen; so one might as well make the best of what is happening.

I still believe money in my bank right now gives me more options than faith, hope and charity.
I agree with you on many aspect and as I said I never posted in forums, but rather spend my time shooting and uploading.
The only reason why I am speaking out now is that this membership thing in p5 is making the video clip market crash too early, to soon to $6 for a clip.
200.000 hand picked, good quality clips at ten clips for the price of one is really a lot.
There are a bit more than 5 million clips on the pond. If you take away the bad ones, you are left with less than a million good quality clips. If you take away the repetitions, than you have about that number of good, non-duplicated clips. Basically the membership area is all a customer needs, plus it is much easier for them to find what they want, avoiding repetitions.
I am pretty much sure that in a couple of month, once all customers will be aware of the scheme, there will be no more sales outside the memberhip. At the same time a lot of customers will move from SS, FT and VB to this place and sales will dry up for all of us. All sales will be in the membership area where royalties to artists are not paid.
I guess SS, FT will have to react to this state of things very quickly and bring their prices for clips to single digit. They just have no choice, they cannot compete selling clips at $70 against $6.
Probably P5 will be the first to die in this war price, as they rely only on clip sales, while the other also have photo.
I know that artists cartels have never worked before, but such a dumping never occurred before, even in still images, the prices dropped at a much slower pace, not from $70 to $6 overnight.
And in this case all is needed is that artist get their clips back from the membership. Then we can probably enjoy a few more years doing what we like

First of all thanks for a well constructed resume of how you think things could pan out.
Yep, lots to agree with there - logic stacks up pretty well IMHO. Except logic often doesn't come out in the wash - but there again it might.

A couple of points you made are not quite correct:
<<<All sales will be in the membership area where royalties to artists are not paid.>>>

I don't repeat what's in a contract except Pickerell stated this in another thread here (on P5 membership) so this is only a repeat of what's out there already. Participating artists will be paid a 50% cut once a certain threshold is reached. This may or may not be significant - but in the "worst case scenario" you're portraying, then it would be.

<<<but such a dumping never occurred before, even in still images, the prices dropped at a much slower pace>>>>

Yes it has.
Photographers were earning large amounts regularly (over 4 figures was largish, 3 figures average) and absolutely no very small amounts ($50 was a small amount) and along came RF where sales were by the pound (or pixel) and prices dived. That was nothing compared to when microstock arrived - contributors actually accepted amounts less than $1 for a sale (or download as they called it) I was earning on average $100 per sale and microstockers were getting less than a $1. Now that's dumping. But we still had editorial sales - many into 3 figures - then along came microstock editorial - you guessed it - contributors accepting less than $1 per download when US textbook sales were going for $250. Now that's dumping. I sure hope you're not accepting 25c or 38c for a download whilst many full-timers at other agencies are still looking to $100 from a sale.

You're gonna have to explain to me why 25c/38c is not wrecking the market.

Could it get worse for the macro photographers? Could anything force prices down more? Oh yes it can. Alamy are soon to open the way for microstockers to pile in by starting an RF editorial collection. Actually anounced by Alamy here on MSG - here's where I found out - they didn't say a dickie bird on their own forum until a guy from here innocently brought it up there and all hell broke loose.

Did I whinge when all this first started to happen years ago? You bet and big-time. We had a lot to lose - like a good living for a start. The professional RM guys have spent a not inconsiderable time in the past on the telephone into the small hours to each other wondering what the heck we could do about it all. As it turned out there were three things to be done: plod on, retire or join in.

So to the here and now - after considerable reflection on the membership scheme - my advice is to either: plod on, retire or join in.






« Reply #22 on: May 24, 2016, 15:33 »
0
Microstock worked because in the beginning there were just 1 million files and the whole world was looking for an easy and affordable download option to serve global internet needs.

Supply and demand, the internet gave us a plattform and we made crazy money.

How big is the online video stock market?

Is it just as big as photos? Then maybe we really should all price our files cheap and enjoy the flow until we reach 60 million clips and 1 million files are uploaded every week.

With photos the pendulum is swinging back, a lot of people are moving into walled gardens or into macrostock, including all the top former micro artists.

Was pond5 right to crash the party so soon?

Well, if what we hear from the sales on envato is true, people reporting up to 5 times higher income than on the pond with cheap files, then maybe it really is the right time to go for micro pricing in video.

I really dont know, I am simply not seeing the same high volume in video sales, at least compared to photos.

It is a very different market. I also think you need a lot more variations with video to give the customer the best options from a story or scene.

« Reply #23 on: May 24, 2016, 15:35 »
+1
ALL SIMILAR BUSINESS MODELS SINCE BEGINNING OF TIME:

1. MONOPOLY. CHARGE HIGH PRICES AND GIVE THE LEAST POSSIBLE

2. COMPETITION. BRINGS PRICES DOWN

3. BUY USING CREDITS. BUY MORE CREDITS FOR A DISCOUNT

4. SUBSCRIPTION SERVICE. PAY MONTHLY RATE FOR ACCESS TO COLLECTION

5. AD SUPPORTED SERVICE. PAY NOTHING FOR CONTENT, SHARE AD REVENUE WITH CONTRIBUTORS.

it ain't going to get any better. stock footage companies will all eventually movie to monthly subscription plans, and then to ad sponsored sites whereby customers will get all the videos for free and contributors will get paid a share of ad revenue. people will flock to those services once the quantity and quality of content grows, and put all other business models out of business.

« Reply #24 on: May 24, 2016, 15:41 »
0
There is nothing wrong with that.

As long as you recognize which stage of the market you are in and what is the best approach.

I wasnt expecting video to crash so fast, but we will see. They still need people who will regularly supply them with membership content.

If you want to sell 6 dollar files, you can do it yourself and get paid for every sale. Youll also get the data and can use that to identify trends much faster.


 

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