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Messages - BaldricksTrousers

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1
I hope Jon Oringer is having sleepless nights wondering if he's turning Shutterstock into another of the failed businesses that he used to say were the only "jobs" he'd had before starting Shutterstock.

Hi again Jo Ann. I really doubt that he is troubled by what's going on. Frankly, if I'd made tens of millions out of something and had them safely stashed away I wouldn't be too bothered about whether it was starting to go wrong (I'm not really that nice). It does look as if he is shifting his stash out of SS shares into something more reliable ... like cash.

2
Just disabled everything. It means stock is more or less pointless for me now - well, it has been since June 1, with something like a 60% cut in commission earnings (thanks for the birthday present, SS!).
I don't even believe they are paying anything close to the commission rates they have announced. For about 15 years I was getting 38c, now I get 10c as an alleged 30% commission? That means the actual sales prices is 33c and for 15 years they were paying me more per download than they got. Does anybody believe that? Otherwise they must have cut subscription pack prices by 70% - lucky buyers! ... only I don't believe that.

What I do believe is that the old commission structure was based on a statistical average of the number of downloads actually made from a subscription - perhaps only half the possible total - and the new structure assumes 100% usage of all packs, rather than allowing for actual usage. If that is so, then the 30% level is more like 15% and the 10% level is something like 3%.

I've had more than 140,000 downloads at SS down the years bringing me almost $71,000 so it hurts to disable everything, but not as much as it hurts to see my commissions slashed by around 70%. Even that isn't enough for the greedy filth: in January they plan to cut my 10c commissions down to 3c. That's a 92% pay cut!!!! Who do they think they are kidding?

I really feel quite sick over this. It's possibly worse than anything Istock has ever done to us. You've screwed up big-time SS. With considerable difficulty I will refrain from launching my first ever foul-mouthed tirade, what I would call you is probably worse than you could even imagine.

PS: I see in posts from people who are following this more closely that they have apparently slashed subscription prices and the 10c sales are more than 30% and are some sort of floor under the commission rate - but I don't care, I'm only interested in the monthly payouts that won't be coming any more, the grossly insulting commission structure/levels and the humiliating way they are treating us all.

3
123RF / Re: Negative earnings
« on: January 17, 2020, 05:33 »
I'm 20c to the good now, after 6 sales.
It's another place where it isn't the money that makes me happy.

4
Shutterstock.com / Re: Is this January especially low for you?
« on: January 17, 2020, 05:30 »
IIRC, historically my sales have always been low from Dec 18 to Jan 18. I'd expect a return to what now passes as normality after the weekend.

5
123RF / Negative earnings
« on: January 16, 2020, 07:29 »
In a new phenomenon, it seems that the more images get sold via 123 the more money i owe them. With 5 sales this month (paltry, I know) I now owe them 36c for the month. Yesterday I had no sales and owed them either the same or slightly less.
However, according to the daily downloads tab I have only 1 sale this month and I actually made 45c.
What a way to run a site.
Should I close the account now, while I still have some earnings (though not enough to cash out) or should I leave it for a year or two until I've enough sales for them to think I owe them a reasonable amount and then close it and refuse to pay them what they will say i owe?
Oh, hang on, there's a credit of -1.55 for Jan 6 (for no given reason) . So debit 1.65 vs earnings of 45 = -36c according to their maths.
It's all fun, isn't it?

6
I think their number tells you more about how many passengers they carry a year than how many magazines or readers they have. It's standard media practice to present circulation in the most exaggerated way possible in order to try to justify inflated advertising rates.

7
Wow, so in a time when downloads per contributor have in general been trending down....they are increasing targets?!
The effect, of course, is either to cushion Getty's bottom line if their overall sales are declining or to boost their income if sales aren't declining overall. It all makes perfect sense when viewed from the office's penthouse suite over a glass of Glenlivet.
(Now I know how good it feels to view the iStock/Getty shenanigans from the outside, rather than being one of their serfs).

8
General Stock Discussion / Re: I love Shutterstock
« on: October 27, 2019, 01:39 »
Images that are making America great again!  ::)

Yep. Especially uplifting, inspiring, and unifying images like these:

https://www.shutterstock.com/image-photo/build-wall-usa-mexico-1304194144?src=-1-0

https://www.shutterstock.com/image-photo/sharia-law-book-american-1480503329?src=la706_2857ueGYAk9zRrVQ-1-62

https://www.shutterstock.com/image-photo/green-new-deal-democrats-stiletto-shoe-1354245776?src=la706_2857ueGYAk9zRrVQ-3-9

https://www.shutterstock.com/image-photo/sorry-nothing-gets-done-socialists-work-1307986156?src=la706_2857ueGYAk9zRrVQ-4-6


Freedom of Speech......

You should have warped the words "Sharia law" onto the spine of the book. There's some filter or other to do that. It looks weird having the words flat and the spine curved. Just sayin. Also, the book of sharia law is usually called The Noble Qur'an and I've never seen one with a pictorial cover.  I'm surprised the large capitalist brain seems unaware of those things, or perhaps it's just not large enough to hold information about other cultures.
Oh, and while I think of it, I have a suspicion that your Green New Deal image should say "Democrats" not "Democrates".

9
once they are out in the wild who would know who owns the copyright.

Ignorance of ownership is no excuse. And, in any case, if you don't help yourself to stuff you don't own you are not going to end up on the wrong side of a claim.

10
Alamy.com / Re: Alamy. Philanthropy is in our DNA
« on: October 24, 2019, 01:50 »
There seems to be some confusion on the difference between percentages and percentage points. If a commission rate is 40% and that is then cut to zero what has happened is that commission has been cut by 40 percentage points, which in this case is  100%.  If the rate was cut from 100% (i.e the agency hands all the cash over) to  60%, that would still be a cut of 40 percentage points but would also be a 40% cut.
To look at it from another perspective, if your commission was cut from 40% to zero, would you complain that you had suffered a 40% cut in earnings? I don't think so!
I hope that clears up the confusion.

As for Alamy, I'd rather that they hadn't cut the commissions but at the same time I have always been happy that the profit they make goes into cancer research rather than into lining the pockets of billionaire venture capitalists who are eternally looking for more and more sneaky ways to screw us (yes, you know who they are, and you probably STILL supply them). I'm sorry if that doesn't fit in with the general view here.

11
Lot of rejections not only for similarity, but also for noise, artifacts, pixelation, banding all together :) nice

And if a cloud or dust is part of the photo, for focus.  ::)

"Focus: The main subject of this image is not in focus." Maybe I need my eyes tested?  ;)

yeah, i had a picture of a train worker on a steam train, engulfed in Steam- clearly described, rejected for focus...
I guess they haven't got a reject button for "lens flare".  ;D

12
I emailed them, too, to point out the system doesn't seem to be working properly.
And it was a waste of time. They just brushed me off referring to a generic post about similars. I guess nobody read what I'd written.

13
Shutterstock.com / Re: SS continues to deteriorate
« on: October 02, 2019, 01:44 »

 I have this conspiracy theory that SS is using sometimes the Single & Other column to renconciliate amounts after they screwed up something in the royalties. .... For the moment, however, I would still say it's a kind of conspiracy theory, as... I lack evidence,

Yup. Just another wild supposition.

14
Looks like SS got hacked as well. I received an email notifying me of change of payment. Went from PP to Skrill and a .ru email address. Change your passwords.

Nice of SS to inform us.

It doesn't seem like a mass hacking of SS/BS, surely there would be screams of rage all over the place if it was. Could the passwords have been picked up in some other way? My accounts have not been changed.

15
Dreamstime.com / Re: Where are sale statistics ?
« on: October 01, 2019, 00:39 »
They still have this page, although the link is fairly well hidden and at some point it will probably stop working.

https://www.dreamstime.com/stats.php

That's the most informative page of all, and one of the neatest data presentations on any site I use, no way should they discontinue it (unless they want to prevent us seeing how things are going).

16
I emailed them, too, to point out the system doesn't seem to be working properly.

17
iStockPhoto.com / Re: I QUIT iSTOCK
« on: September 30, 2019, 13:36 »
I just got my discontinuation confirmation from them. Curiously, it is the nicest, most politely worded message I've received from them since... well, just about ever. Now I'm going they seem to appreciate me (yes, I know, it's just a standard reply, but still..)

18
Someone doesn't know what similar means. I just got one shot of food from directly above accepted and every other view of it rejected. Apparently side view and top view are "too similar".

19
iStockPhoto.com / Re: I QUIT iSTOCK
« on: September 25, 2019, 02:30 »
I made the request few days ago to close my account and my ticket are still pending. Maybe other members are closing too with all the funny refund ...  :o

Isn't there a notice period between cancelling the contract and the work having to be taken down?  That should start running from the date the closure ticket was created, in which case it shouldn't make any difference if it takes them a week or two to get round to dealing with it.

20
iStockPhoto.com / Re: I QUIT iSTOCK
« on: September 21, 2019, 10:06 »
the closure agreement seems to make clear that you do get your cash.
While I hate the games they play, I've never seen any sign that they don't pay out cash that they owe. They keep on the right side of the law.

21
iStockPhoto.com / Re: I QUIT iSTOCK
« on: September 21, 2019, 05:31 »
I've done it. After 15 years and six months I finally gave them the boot.

 With the latest earnings down to less than $30 this month (for about 6,000 files, I made more than $10 in my first month with just a few dozen shots) it's not a major loss. Maybe it will lead to an uptick in sales as Shutterstock to compensate.

Its not about the portfolio. Its all about your time invested. 6000 files in 15 Years is about 400 files a Year, or 33 files a month.
I am shooting mostly food. For 33 files a month i invest about 3 hours work. For 3 hours work you get $30 at istock and maybe $ 100 from the others. Meaning you get $130 at month for only 3 hours work. Or $43 for one hours work.
This isn't bad if you are doing stock beside a full-time job.
That's a fair point as far as it goes (though my food shots took much longer than that as it invariably involved planning, purchasing and cooking as well as shooting and processing, usually to get half-a-dozen shots) and you're ignoring investment in equipment etc.  However, my issue is not the money, if it was I wouldn't be on Canstock for example, it's the way iStock treats its submitters.

Incidentally, if you look at your calculation from the perspective of a beginner it looks rather different: to build up to a monthly income of $30 involves shooting and uploading 6,000 files (assuming no rejections), or about 600 hours work - 20 weeks of 30 hours each, and only at the end of that do you get up to $30, on average it is $15 per month for the first five months, so you're working full time for almost half a year to earn $90. And that's without counting a thousand or two spent on equipment and props.


22
iStockPhoto.com / Re: This is all we got - A SORRY
« on: September 21, 2019, 00:53 »
What I am reading here is a lot of crying over a few drops of water -- and entirely from people who have clearly never run a commercial business in their lives.

I think the reality is that people are angry because they feel abused, cheated and humiliated. It's not about the amount of cash, it's about respect - both self-respect and a belief that the agents acting for them should show respect for their efforts.

23
iStockPhoto.com / Re: This is all we got - A SORRY
« on: September 21, 2019, 00:38 »

As far as 15% commission being too small, well you clearly never ran an organization like this.  Obviously, if you think you can do so much better, have at it. We contributors will be glad to take a larger chunk for the short time before you fold.

I made a series of instructional videos in the 1990s, ending up with 54 videos, all 60-90 min long.  VHS originally, then later converted to DVD. I paid the artists 10% of all gross sales (not 15%, just 10%).  I shut down in 2000 when I finally concluded that everyone around me was making money, but I was just taking money in the left hand and paying it out the right hand, and leaving nothing in my pocket.  It costs one heck of a lot more to run a business like that than most people realize.  Everyone thought I was getting rich, but they had no idea of the duck where most of the action was out of site and under the water...

Well, you can't be much good at business if you can't make a profit when you keep 90% of your sales revenue. I seem to recall that iStock/Getty had some side arrangements in various deals that enable them to take more than 85% overall. Wasn't there something about buyers paying a lump sum for entry into a cheap-images scheme and then the commission being calculated on the image sale price with the lump being retained? Or maybe that was some other agency - so many of them have diddled us over the years that it's impossible to keep track.
Meanwhile, Alamy seems to do OK while paying up to 50% commissions, which according to your business analysis says that they are going bust... except perhaps they aren't.
If the financiers at Getty didn't have to claw in money to cover the servicing of all the loans they've taken out in order to repay the owners what they paid for the business so it can then be sold on so the next consortium can take out another loan to repay themselves then they might be able to afford more than 15% (or less) commission.
It seems to me that the various financiers who have bought and sold GI have "maxed it out" like a credit card in the hands of an irresponsible shopper, and after maxing it out they then sell it on to someone else who can get a bigger credit limit. IT's been a magic money tree for financial manipulators.

24
iStockPhoto.com / Re: August stats
« on: September 20, 2019, 14:07 »
Go to Sales, then click Gross Royalty to reorder your sales from least amount, so the larges refund comes at the top. Ignore the probably many 'refunds' you got in Jan 2017: these were apparently never sales, it was just Getty testing the system when it was introduced to iS.  ::)

I also cannot see any refunds, but clearly do not understand what I am seeing.

I start at the ESP login, the go to "royalties." I don't see a place to see 'sales' or what was sold or for what price?  (I attached a screenshot, but it does not seem to show up here...)

The white bar sticking down below the line on the left hand side of your charts relates to refunds. Presumably, it wiped out an upward bar on its way down, but I can't be bothered to work it all out, I just closed my account instead.

25
iStockPhoto.com / Re: I QUIT iSTOCK
« on: September 20, 2019, 10:14 »
Good. More for me to sell...
frankly, chum, if you split my earnings between 5 million istock submitters you'll probably be looking at picking up one of those 0.000000001c sales.
But whatever makes you happy... ;D

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