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Messages - Mantis

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I could never get it to work. I manually do it.

2 / Re: Dreamstime increasing royalties
« on: Yesterday at 20:44 »
I never received the email nor have my royalties gone up.

What I cannot understand is reducing commissions to the point many large contributors will disappear.  At the same time rejecting 90% of the images uploaded.

In the long term SS database will decline when companies such as Alamy and DT will continue to increase in size.  In the long run, this does hurt SS because it will no longer be the Top Dog in the stock market.

Cannot understand their business plan??

Because it is short term thinking. That is what made me think that something else is in play here than just a royalty grab.

Well, I did it.
I got paid for the month of May.
So I deactivated my portfolios.

I'm curious to know how many have closed their accounts and how many have deactivated their portfolios...

I just deactivated over 5,000 images and videos.

Edit. My apologies it is 7,000 assets I removed.

I hadn't realised that even if it is a small part of his holdings it is still the most he's ever sold. I wonder if he is trying to get out as quick as he can without spooking the market.
who is buying on the other end? slowly acquire

It makes sense.  In Q4 they're going to report huge growth and RPD.  In January it'll be massively better again.  They'll spike high.

This is my point. Make historical data look strong.

Im wondering if there is more to this whole Shutterstock debacle, such as if they might be positioning themselves for better valuation to be sold or merged. I have been involved in two mergers in my career and our main goal was to make the financials look good for a minimum of the past three years and Id say five years for larger companies. That sets the valuation to maximize selling price.

I only bring this up because I this smells like something much bigger than just instant gratification.

Just a little remark - on the positive side, this time:
In our German speaking forums, someone's started jotting down the total amount of images available on Shutterstock at a given time. (You get the data in real time, if you use the search box without entering a keyword.)
Between yesterday in the morning (MET) and now (1:52 am) - so, a little more than 12 hours - almost 140,000 images have been deleted or disabled. Not (yet) enough to hurt them, but sure for a clear signal in their direction. :)

And you can add that on a normal day it should be rising by about 200.000. Let's say, by 100.000 in half a day.

It has been a around 170.000 images that have been deactivated or deleted between yesterday and today, if my math is correctly, but despite people deleting/deactivating images, there are still more images added daily than deleted.
I seriously doubt that Shutterstock cares. The number has been growing way too fast anyways and you could tell from the yearly sales reports that it has no real influence on SS's income and contributors' earnings. More images in the database simply does not mean more customers/sales. Customers still buy the images they need and whether they have a selection of 1000 images of sunflowers or 10.000 images to pick from makes no difference to them. They'll find one suitable among 1000 already, they don't need a selection of 10.000.
That's why I feel like, as long as the overall number of images is still going up, SS will not really care. They might even welcome the slower growth. The recent changes in the similar image rules and, at least what I hear from other contributors, overall more stricter reviews, make it seem like gaining as many new images as possible is not their prefered strategy anymore.

From what I see, Sutterstock's image database schrunk with roughly 300.000 images since end of May, which is peanuts by the way.

I think you are right with your assumption on Shutterstock betting that their existing database, which is highly competitive in nearly every segment, is fine as it is to cover existing demand. The rejection issues that many contributors experienced over the last past months, and the passive attitude from Shutterstock on that matter really says a lot. They don't want that massive growth anymore. We all gave them a big fat cow and they decided it's time to milk it very aggressively.

For newer content and coverage of new trends, I think they will rely on selected top contributors by offering them different and more rewarding deals.

You have to take into account a couple of things. There is a pipeline of images in the review queue that were probably there before thus announcement. So you are seeing those approvals replace the deletions. Also, many contributors are still unaware of the changes SS made and will keep uploading until such a time a flag is raised. When they start to notice significantly lower payouts they will try to find out why and learn of Shutterstocks money grab. I think we will see a consistent reduction of quality assets over the coming months. Many contributors will stay. But I doubt these will be the ones who produce high value assets and know how to shoot on current trends and create marketable work. A good chunk of those kind of contributors will kill their ports. And the pipeline that will replace the quality work being deactivated will, for the most part, be garbage. Like the thousands of pot images, etc. For SS to retain good commercially viable content they will be forced to make special deals, like Getty did with Yuri. So while we may not see massive reduction in collection count we will see a massive reduction in collection quality, minus the special deal ports.

Have disabled all files for now, if nothing changes in the next month may as well close the account. Was hoping enough people would disable to prompt some action from SS, but can understand not everyone can afford to, especially while other income sources for creators have dried up with the virus. Almost like they knew people would be desperate at the moment, quite evil really.

This will take time. Im sure many contributors dont even know whats going on. As their payouts happen more and more contributors will realize something is up and investigate. I mean look how many new MSG posts we have seen in the last week. I think we will see a lot more in the coming months. This is a grind. Not instant. Be patient and help us spread the word.

9 / Re: Shutterstock just became iStock 2.0
« on: June 03, 2020, 12:34 »
Edit: I expect them to hide the portfolio disable buttons next.

I'm surprised they didn't do it already. Even more surprised they didn't disable it right before they announced the change. ...

I was fully prepared for them to take away the on/off switch, but as I see how many people are disabling portfolios - I watched the number of photos drop by 70,000 in a half an hour this afternoon while I was tweeting some #BoycottShutterstock stuff - it dawns on me that the more we disable, the less likely they are to remove the control.

At some point, it becomes in their interest to leave them enabled if they believe they can talk contributors into restoring images. Come the end of June they'll have more financials to report and an image count. They may not want to fess up that they inspired a boycott and only have a small growth or a decline in the collection. Also, it would force contributors to choose to close their accounts or delete images if the button were gone - all much more work to manage than the on/off switch.

As they couldn't manage the code to get royalties into the correct columns after the change, they may not want to make things more complicated for engineering than it needs to be :)

I doubt they've budged from their dictator approach. They're removing forum and Facebook posts, banning people, not responding in the forum, etc. I still think they're working on whatever they can do to squash contributors including disabling the buttons. Gotta show us peons who's boss even if it hurts them.

They have removed multiple Facebook posts of mine and I didnt even cuss.

Wind of portfolios being disabled has reached the investor community - in a Seeking Alpha article about Shutterstock's dividend. I submitted a comment explaining that the fury and exodus of portfolios is very real

Anyone else want to help investors understand how Shutterstock's idiot move has damaged the company?

I chimed in on Seeking Alpha. Waiting for moderators to approve.

11 / Re: Let's hit SS where it hurts
« on: June 01, 2020, 13:06 »
Their trustpilot *from customers* is atrocious.

But realistically the only way is to talk to the buyers.  Commenting on their own FB etc will do nothing.  They expect it, theyre ready for it and they're already deleting posts as fast as they can.  You need to g direct to the buyers.

And yes, use TOR and other anonymous tools - they ARE actively culling accounts of people who speak out (and it seems keeping the earnings).

And how do we reach a large percentage of the roughly 200k contributors? Maybe 5000-6000 are aware today. If 100k were aware (or more) and willing to deactivate ports THAT would impact both the 330m images and also buyers. To me the way we control SS is thru content because WE own that part of their business. Some contributors who dont follow MSG or SS forums or SS FB will recognize a drop in income and perhaps become curious as to why and do some homework. But a lot really never understand what happened unless we can reach them.

12 / Re: Synchronized portfolio disabling?
« on: May 31, 2020, 14:34 »
As many of us will disable portfolios on 1st of June what if we do it simultaneously? What could be impact on servers and customers experience?

We are all over the world, in different time zones but doing it in 3 steps is possible.
For example:
18:00 GMT for America (NYC 2pm, LA 11am)
04:00 GMT for Asia/Australia (2pm Sydney, 1pm Tokyo)
12:00 GMT for Europe/Africa (2pm Berlin/Paris, 3pm Moscow)
Have you noticed that there are reports of people's logins being suspended for a month, rather than their accounts outright closed in some cases? I wonder if this is to prevent coordinated action. They wont be able to login and deactivate on the 1st. Maybe SS is hoping this will have all blown over by July.

I dont think this is a maybe. I think they are banking on it.

This garbage is just like Getty closing Sean Locke's & Rob Sylvan's (and others) accounts and Fotolia closing a whole bunch of accounts. You try to keep a lid on things by making a public example of trouble-makers.

Not saying I agree with what Istock did to Sean, but in all  fairness he (and others) were actively working behind the scenes against Istock, and against the terms of the contract. They got busted.

Uh, no, I wasn't doing any such thing.  Sorry.

So you are suggesting Istock just cancelled your contract for absolutely no reason? Why would any agency do that to one of their top producers without reason?

Incompetency? After all of iStock's bad decisions back then, it didn't surprise me that iStock would continue to make bad business decisions.

It was actually Getty Images that did the bidding for Istock. I don't agree with the way it was handled at all, or the outcome for that matter, but they shut the dissent down. Respectfully, he took one for the team.

Point being, none of these stock agencies give a flying F+++ about any of us and if there is dissent we are totally expendable, and Getty Images proved that.

Well stated. And it will not be any different with SS. The only way to impact SS in the longer term is through choking them with no content. All of the social media stuff might help in the short term but the dagger, if one exists, is to drain significant, high impact content. That is permanent and it directly affects the customer base. Dont get me wrong, bringing bad press is powerful, but it fades with time. Content is controllable by us which connects directly to the customer. In a utopian case we could technically put SS out of business tomorrow if we had unity with all contributors, and those contributors being willing to remove their assets. THAT would send a message to all of the other agencies when they want to take more from an already financially strained contributor base.  I know it is far fetched to think we can remove 330 million images, but that is the root of course correcting this mess. SS knows that only a fraction of that 330m images will be removed.  And the bad press will be short lived. Thats what they are banking this whole decision on.

People keep saying (hoping) that customers will go to Adobe. They will go to Istock and Getty, unfortunately. There is bigger possibility for that, it's a bigger stock company.

Why would they go anywhere?

Thats the big question. Why would any of the customers who have learned how to navigate SS, have become accustomed to the service levels at SS leave when their deals will, for all intents and purposes, get sweeter? To me the impact to SS is meaningful defection, solid negative impact on social media and even mainstream media if possible.  That might mitigate or soften new future customers from signing up with them. The contributor defection is the biggest hit and it has to be significant to make any real impact. And it has to be high impact portfolios that are big revenue generators for SS.  The publicity angle only sticks for a short time. Contributor defection is/can be permanent.

15 / Re: Shutterstock just became iStock 2.0
« on: May 30, 2020, 13:40 »
gnirtS. ^^^

Well done, you really made an investigation for this!

Agree. Thanks for the work you have done here.

16 / Re: Will SS muck up Bigstock next?
« on: May 30, 2020, 13:39 »
Bigstock is dead as it stands. I dont think they could fukc it up anymore.

General Stock Discussion / Re: Pond5 exclusively
« on: May 30, 2020, 13:37 »
What are the advantages at o5 for exclusivity? Aside from pricing your vids is there search placement advantages, or some other value that goes with putting eggs in one basket?

18 / Re: Dreamstime increasing royalties
« on: May 29, 2020, 15:07 »
I still upload there even though sales have been low because DT has always been relatively fair. They purposefully cycle their search to ensure a fair shake for contributors. So for a week I get a lot of $2-5 dis and then that is followed by subs. I used to make $200 a month there but now I am * lucky to make $30. I wish they had better video pricing too.

What made you post that link? There is nothing in those posts that suggest SS is listening to anything voiced by their contributor community.

5000 contributors disabling a port of 5000 images on average is still only 7 or 8 % of the database, which is extremely competitive and loaded with similar images of the same subject anyhow. We can discuss how many contributors will leave and how big or small their portfolio's are, but don't think Shutterstock didn't do the math and didn't calculate the risk or effect. Plenty of people left who don't disable, and prefer earning less instead of getting nothing at all (some really need the money), and of course plenty of people left willing to sell out for 10$c commissions.

That said, gotta stay true to yourself, and for the sake of giving a message and easy my mind by little acts of protest, mine goes down on 1st of June.

This is the calculated approach they have made. It makes no difference if 5-10 percent of the content is deleted. They have plenty of similars to make it up and buyers will just look for and find something other than that other fantastic shot that will satisfy their needs. This game is over. I am saddened for those of you who rely on SS or micro to make a living.

21 / Re: Shutterstock just became iStock 2.0
« on: May 28, 2020, 11:01 »
Aside from the obvious money grab we contributors will only see our current tier of a short period of time, perhaps a month or two.  They are making a calculated move that there are plenty of images in the face of contributor defection. They have just made a move that will force everyone else to respond in kind....

22 / Re: Alamy Image Packs
« on: May 14, 2020, 12:26 »
Alamy is being relegated from Midstock to Microstock

They've already come out in video stating that they cannot compete with micro stock and have to move elements of their business in that direction.  It should be no surprise to anyone who is in this business and follows it.

I believe that if you made less than $600 and are in the USA you won't get one.

24 / Re: $3.36 for a Hyperlapse clip
« on: May 04, 2020, 07:53 »
This is my lowest sale to date. I've seen the $1.50 threads but thought I'd just share this anyway. I guess the 90 minutes it took to shoot this clip and the hour to process it is only worth $3.36. Keep up the great work shutterstock.

Here's what SS considers to be worthless.

I just "liked" your comment not because I actually, ya'know, "liked" it but because it reinforced my own personal decision, made 2 weeks ago, to pull my clips out of SS (and, with regrets, Adobe too) and go exclusive with P5.

In the long run, that may have been a mistake on my part, but right now it feels very good.

Thanks for sharing your experience, which left me with a sad, sour taste in my mouth. Why bother?

ETA: Your hyperlapse is wonderful, BTW. Congratulations on doing such beautiful work.

How many clips is your port? I have been contemplating removing from SS as well and the few I have on IS.

About 650-700 clips, give or take a couple dozen from one site to another.

Thanks for that. I'm just not sure P5 will get me the return I need just to break even, let alone get more octane out of sales.

25 / Re: $3.36 for a Hyperlapse clip
« on: May 03, 2020, 16:45 »
This is my lowest sale to date. I've seen the $1.50 threads but thought I'd just share this anyway. I guess the 90 minutes it took to shoot this clip and the hour to process it is only worth $3.36. Keep up the great work shutterstock.

Here's what SS considers to be worthless.

I just "liked" your comment not because I actually, ya'know, "liked" it but because it reinforced my own personal decision, made 2 weeks ago, to pull my clips out of SS (and, with regrets, Adobe too) and go exclusive with P5.

In the long run, that may have been a mistake on my part, but right now it feels very good.

Thanks for sharing your experience, which left me with a sad, sour taste in my mouth. Why bother?

ETA: Your hyperlapse is wonderful, BTW. Congratulations on doing such beautiful work.

How many clips is your port? I have been contemplating removing from SS as well and the few I have on IS. 

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