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Messages - BalkanskiMacak

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I'll just comment on the agencies I'm contributing to: Alamy, DT, DP, BS and 123RF.

BS is already virtually dead, in deep coma, it will die, no need to wait 3 more years.

123RF will die soon: there's little to no innovation, their platform is garbage, and their sales keep on decreasing.

DP is on the same way, it's a bit better, but most of my regular buyers on DP have already left to other platforms.

DT is not doing so good, but considering their situation, I guess they could be bought by some other agency.

Alamy isn't in the same category. We're not talking exactly around Microstock here, and they are mainly on the editorial market (which is less impacted by AI), and have their own portfolio of clients that are there for some reason (for instance the possibility to get very complex licences and contracts). That being said, I guess they are ripe to be bought to somebody (Getty, or even , if we are crazy, a press agency that would like to expand further than their regular contributors, even though that would be a terrible thing to serious photojournalists).

Adobe Stock / Re: 2023 Adobe Stock contributor bonus plan details
« on: February 21, 2024, 19:57 »
Because no body answer on this, ask again :/

"When I want to renew the code I get this message :This code is from a country or region that does not match your Adobe ID.
Last year everything went well."

What we to do with this problem? On Adobe support I do not get any valid answer :(

Is Creative Cloud available in your country

The main issue is that, independently from the availability, it was working before.

So, maybe Mat would care to elaborate why they are suddenly kicking contributors out of the programme?

I can quote the learn and support page with what I believe is the relevant information.

"Contributors located in countries where the apps are not available are excluded from the Bonus Program."


Mat Hayward

The problem is that we didn't face the issue in the past years, how come? Why don't you reply to that part I already mentioned?

And don't you think this is pretty disgraceful to kick contributors this way?

Seriously, AS is pretty shameful, here... Should I consider to find an illegal copy? Up until now, I was refraining from doing it, but since you are willing to treat us different ways based on the country we are living, I'm not sure I have any more consideration for this...

Adobe Stock / Re: 2023 Adobe Stock contributor bonus plan details
« on: February 21, 2024, 09:43 »
Because no body answer on this, ask again :/

"When I want to renew the code I get this message :This code is from a country or region that does not match your Adobe ID.
Last year everything went well."

What we to do with this problem? On Adobe support I do not get any valid answer :(

Is Creative Cloud available in your country

The main issue is that, independently from the availability, it was working before.

So, maybe Mat would care to elaborate why they are suddenly kicking contributors out of the programme?

Adobe Stock / Re: 2023 Adobe Stock contributor bonus plan details
« on: February 21, 2024, 08:53 »
So, like many here, I got the error "This code is from a country or region that does not match your Adobe ID.".

The process is normally to contact Adobe's Customer Support, which I did via chat.

When the guys so it's a contributor redemption code, they transferred me to another agent, supposedly to help me.

I've been waiting on the chat for two hours now.

Judging by the number of messages I could find here, on contributors groups on Facebook, and on Adobe's forum, it seems it's a widespread issue.

Maybe Mat could give us more details on what . is happening?

5 / Re: Contributor Dashboard down?
« on: September 15, 2023, 05:01 »
Same Here.

Or maybe not.

Maybe we all got blocked by SS because we disapprove their policy.

To be more inclusive in their corporate value, they will share the amazing news that any person criticizing their policy will be kicked out of the website.

Optimistic scenario:
  • They indeed don't change anything to their review process, and only the huge amount of legitimate rejections get added to this "data set", which will satisfy people who are trying to upload blurry duck in pond pictures taken with a Nokia 3310 (there are plenty of such people in Facebook groups).

Pessimistic scenario:
  • We are starting to see a lot of automated BS rejections.

In any case, I guess I'll paused the uploads on SS for two weeks, just to see how things are going, what's happening to others with rejections, and if imsStudio makes some changes (as I'm using this solution to upload). If I see that a lot of automatic rejections start to occur, I'll preventively generalize the use of case number to all the Commercial pictures I'm submitting, to make sure that they will have some manual review. 


The initial AI check is here always checking for noise and stuff (unless you marked it as a re-delivery, I  think). You will get a notification within a few minutes when it's rejected.

The initial AI (sorrry... AS) is badly trained.
It confuses photos with pattern like details for noise/pixelation.
Below is an example of perfectly fine, noise free photo (100% zoom) instantly rejected by the SS AI (sorry... AS). The rejection was always instant, no matter how many times the upload (with or without other changes) was tried.
The same photo was accepted by a human, after 3 days,  once a case number was provided.

yes, i've had similar images rejected en masse for 'exposure', then accepted with a case #

How do you get a case number?

You get one anytime you are getting manually authorized by SS to publish something that is by default rejected. To do so, you need first to contact SS support to dispute the rejection.

In my case, I got, for instance, many cases falling under such reasons:
-instant and constant rejection of pictures due to noise/sharpness/exposure (that's the one I'm using at the moment to resolve that reoccurring problem)
-appealing architectural IP issues (I'm living in a country where the freedom of panorama is extremely large, so SS is usually a bit more liberal)
-restricted events (like festivals, concerts, etc.), where you need to submit to SS credentials[/li][/list]

In the past few months, I got as well a few "automated" rejections, it always happen this way when I upload a batch:
-a few pictures are getting instantly rejected, usually for noise/exposure
-the other pictures will follow the usual process

Regarding the pictures that are instantly rejected, there's no way they will be accepted, whatever I do to correct them.

I found, however, a workaround: adding an old case number to the rejected pictures. In this situation, the picture gets reviewed and approved within days.

There's definitely an AI issue here. I guess raising the problem to their support might work in a few cases (I got a few approved this way as well).

Hi guys.

So, for once, I'm not going to complain (that much). I was slowly starting to work on my June report, and I noticed my numbers on AS significantly improved. I started to make some year to date comparison, and I realized it's something pretty recent, as the first part of the year was pretty disappointing. RPD is still lower, but not that much compared to the first part of the year.

I wanted to know if I was the only one to experience such changes (and, if there are some guys from AS passing by, if they can tell us something about some recent news that could have impacted sales that well).

10 / Re: Drop in sales - is it only me?...
« on: January 21, 2022, 13:03 »
At the moment, I'm stable year-to-date, with a +/- 5% difference since the beginning of the month.

It's important to mention, however, that sales are traditionally extremely low at the beginning of the month, and that licences other than subscriptions usually start to appear in the second half of January. It's kind of happening this year, and it's always been the same in the past few years. That's why January is usually totally unbalanced. I guess it comes from the fact businesses are a bit slow to pay their invoices in the beginning of the month for plenty of reasons, and compensate in the second part.

Correction: if we work hard, Justin will become more successful.

So, one year after SS started to implement their shameful new scheme, I wanted to check a bit more in detail what was the impact on the revenue. Given I'm measuring my monthly performance from the 26th of a month till the 25th of the following month (mainly because the very last days of each month are very busy for me), I already have some data (even though it takes in account a few day with the old scheme).

Important to mention: my portfolio is 99% images, 60 to 70% editorial (I'm working part time as a correspondent, so I tend to recycle a lot of unused images on microstock).

Revenue is down, yes

Globally, on Shutterstock, my revenue decreased by 9% since the new scheme has been implemented.

Not that bad, you may say? Well, in parallel, I considerably increased the numbers of files for sale.

If I look at the yRPI, we get a totally different picture: it decreased by 37%!

Actually, external reasons could explain this decrease:
  • March and April 2020 were outstanding. As a result of the pandemic, I got a much higher demand in editorial files, and I got lucky with other things. I seriously couldn't expect pictures of facemasks and hazmat suits from a 2019 footage about asbestos removal to be reused in such a context, for instance. When the volumes got back to normal, the comparative performance went lower. 
  • Due to the pandemic, I ran out of higher quality files. Without possibility to travel, to attend festivals, fairs, exhibitions, concerts, and with a political life close to zero, I had to find alternatives. The only ones I could get was life under covid, and what I would call "premium duck-in-pond pictures" (pictures of everyday life topics, but shot with the highest quality gear and more elaborate processing). As a result, the interest was lower than usual. 
  • To counter this lower interest, I increased my production, especially about Covid-related photos. Taken individually, their RPI is much lower. Considering the low production costs (no need to travel, and a pretty easy keywording), the operation was financially ok, comparable to some of the microstock trips I made.

So, what is the reason behind this decrease? My portfolio, or Shutterstock?

To compare, let's have a look at the other main channels, as I submit almost the same files to every platform (except, of course, Adobe).
  • Revenue: -1.7%
  • yRPI: -32%
  • Revenue: +19%
  • yRPI: -17%
  • Revenue: +25%
  • yRPI: -14%
  • Revenue: +50%
  • yRPI: -8%
  • Revenue: -29%
  • yRPI: -50%
  • Revenue: +28%
  • yRPI: -18%
  • Revenue: +19%
  • yRPI: +8

So, as we can see, globally, the RPI decreased everywhere, Bigstock and IS, especially, are a bit concerning, but
SS is comparatively doing very bad.

Even in terms of global revenue, we can see that SS badly impacted the numbers:
  • Total revenue evolution including Shutterstock: +4%
  • Total revenue evolution without Shutterstock: +11%

So, we can definitely see there's something wrong coming from Shutterstock.

Structure of the revenue on Shutterstock

I went as well a bit deeper, to check the performance per type of sale, and I found something interesting, the only slightly encouraging signal:
  • Revenue from subs: -31%
  • Revenue from SOD: +8.5%
  • Revenue from Others/Enhanced: +50%

As we can see, while the year has been a disaster for subs, the other types of sales increased, spectacularly for the case of others.

I double checked as well if it's due to some unusually high sales, but it's not: I haven't got any sale sale on SS above $99 in the period I took in consideration. In parallel, both for SOD and Others, the monthly numbers since June 2020 have been better than the previous year in 7 out of 12 months. We are talking about a sustainable growth. (in comparison: subs revenue was lower in 11 our of 12 months).

So, it seems SS sales are starting to behave like IS. SOD/others have a greater impact on the revenue than before. As a result, it means the revenue is much less stable than it used to, as these sales are much less frequent. We're not yet at the level of IS, however, were two or three sales in a month can increase by 100% my monthly performance.


Was the year bad on SS? Definitely yes! It was worse than most of the platforms. However, if the trend on SOD and Others keeps on being the same, I should be able to partially recover from the subs massacre.

Is it my main point of concern? Actually, not! The decrease on IS is much more preoccupying, as the decrease cannot be explained with a change in their scheme. The goal, now, will be to see how sales will go when I will be able to put for sale my first post-pandemic pictures, but I still don't know yet when will this be possible.

In case, here's Alamy director's Linkedin. I think she may want to know personally what we're thinking of such things...
She could hardly have expected us to be pleased.
Almost everyone on lower sales; really nasty contract clauses.

Indeed, but unless she's starting to be seriously questioned, including personally, I guess nothing will change. I think staffs need to be pressured to leave or to bear the consequences.

In case, here's Alamy director's Linkedin. I think she may want to know personally what we're thinking of such things...

15 / Re: Will Getty buy Shutterstock?
« on: March 25, 2021, 21:09 »
As other said above, I hardly see any reasons for SS to be bought by Getty.

Getty and SS are probably the two most stable guys in the stock market, even though the idea of Getty being soldagain to any random entity does not seem that unrealistic

That being said, if there were something to happen, I'd definitely see much more a move coming from a GAFA (especially Google) to enter the microstock market.

It could be a historical purchase (like Google buying Getty or SS for a historical amount of money), or one of the GAFAs simply starting to offer their users to monetize some content in a similar way microstock does. That would be a real game changer.

General Stock Discussion / Re: All down
« on: February 26, 2021, 21:04 »
Having a very strong week on AS this week and pretty good on SS.

I have no explanation for why every day this week AS earnings are at least double what they've been the last several weeks. I thought maybe I was one of their featured top sellers this week, but I checked and that's not the case. Maybe they're doing a strong advertising push?

Anyone else seeing very strong sales on AS this week?

Well, the week was good, but generally, the year started "pretty" fine on AS ;) (the blue line is the monthly revenue for AS)

General Stock Discussion / Re: All down
« on: February 23, 2021, 05:58 »
The month looks ok for me, most of the platforms are working the way they should, and I got a few good news coming from Alamy.

There's only one platform doing significantly worse, it's Bigstock, but it's not like I care about them.

What good news from Alamy?

I got twice my average monthly revenue, and it's coming from a significantly higher amount of sales than usual (meaning it's not only one exceptionally high sale that made the month, as it's something common for Alamy).

General Stock Discussion / Re: All down
« on: February 23, 2021, 05:25 »
The month looks ok for me, most of the platforms are working the way they should, and I got a few good news coming from Alamy.

There's only one platform doing significantly worse, it's Bigstock, but it's not like I care about them.

19 / Re: money disappear
« on: February 10, 2021, 11:33 »
Well, when you try to scam SS with a stolen card, is it an attempt to fraud the fraudsters?

20 / Re: SS sales January
« on: February 01, 2021, 09:28 »
So, here's the final comparison to January 2020:
Revenue: -41%
Sales: -2.64%

So, as I sometimes say, this month was un dolor anal.

Actually, I'm much more preoccupied at the decrease in sales than at the decrease in revenue: my portfolio is significantly bigger than in January 2020, but the number of sales is lower. I'm still extremely upset at the revenue decrease, but I can expect things to get better be less bad in the upcoming weeks thanks to the season and the sales levels.

One positive thing: I got an increase of sales and revenue (+5.5%) on SOD and Singles compared to last January. Both in 2020 and in 2021, I didn't get any outstanding sale in this column (the highest one was below $4 in both cases), so it means there's still something growing out of there.

With the new scheme, I had actually previously noticed that , while my subs were getting murdered, the Singles, Other and SOD were stable, or were even getting better. It's hard to say, however, if this comes from the new system, or if it's due to my strategy: I'm mainly editorial, and I'm focusing more and more on small niches that start to add up where the supply is close to non existent and where I'm usually the only option (I'd say the second).

21 / Re: SS sales January
« on: January 29, 2021, 06:49 »
Help me to understand something...

Shutterstock last year pulled the carpet from underneath you and then told you they will do it again every year on January 1st.

And you now act surprised that your income stream is down??? what did you think was going to happen, your income would triple???

As noted above, you either bend over and take it up the corn hole, or you close your account, but this ouch it hurts mommy thing is very very very boring.

As far as I am concerned it is nothing more than senseless complaining. What more do you want? How about a little bit of cheese with that whine.

Well, the thing is: SS accounted for 1/3 of my microstock earnings last year. Alone, this money is crucial as I use SS earnings to invest and update my gear, that I use as well outside of microstock.

So, can I easily leave SS? No.

Then, is it legit to complain, and to try to analyze the impact of their policy? Yes.

Should I remind you that staying on a platform does not mean you support its policies?

22 / Re: SS sales January
« on: January 28, 2021, 08:27 »
Globally, it's pretty bad. I am at the moment around -50% compared to last year, as many here.

That being said, here's a bit more insight:

  • the first 10 days of January have always been lower than average: businesses are just reopening avec the Holiday season, and the budgets are not always renewed. It's especially the case for On Demand, Extended or Enhanced sales (there may be a billing question with SS about it, I wouldn't be surprised).
  • it was the case as well this year, but it got even worse due to the new scheme.
  • as the weeks pass by, every year, the activity starts to kickoff, and I'm usually ending up with an average performance for January.
  • in terms of volume, this year, the same phenomenon happens, as I have for instance generated 80% of my sales and revenue for the month in the past 7 days. In the end, the differences between the beginning and the end of the month should just be way more dramatic than before, due to the combination of the seasonal phenomenon with the first SS levels being reached pretty fast. In the end, I will probably face a 30% decrease compared to last year.
So, in the end, it's still bad, but not as much as I could expect based on January's first days. But anyway, screw Shutterstock.

23 / Re: financial district rejections
« on: April 29, 2020, 11:39 »
These editorial pictures are always in a grey zone.

Right, I was just digging around for possible legal reasons. The ultimate answer is "because they said so."  ;D

Like why SS doesn't take events and sports that are free and open to the public in public places. Or why they require credentials for Editorial when news is a protected right.

Well, at least they are slightly more liberal than IS that block a lot of things. My preferred rejection reason from them is the one about "castles in Europe" that are supposedly copyrighted...

In any case, in France, there would be no problems to use the pictures of La Dfense for editorial purposes for free. Local agencies, such as AFP or the regional press groups (some of them have some considerable stock activities, such as Sud-Ouest) do have some of them available. Considering the important lobby in France when it comes to IP, some entities have a pretty big legal service specialized in such questions, that do not hesitate to bully anybody coming too close to their lawn. I guess that's what happened with La Dfense threatening SS.

So, your title mentions videos and images, but you are only talking about videos...

Regarding photos, however, I totally don't share your analysis, based on my experience.

 I just counted over the past two weeks. On the first submission, I usually get 20% rejection for these stupid noise and focus reasons. It's definitely more than before. However, after resizing the files, the final ratio is much closer to 1 or 2%, which has not changed a lot over the past few years. Even better, I have the feeling that the initial rejection rate is falling a bit.

So, in a nutshell, I have more the impression that SS is trying to limit the amount of files being put for sale using bogus reasons. If you insist, however, they end up accepting your photos, because, in the end, they don't want to lose opportunities. That being said, it looks like video submissions are a bit more problematic, indeed...

General Stock Discussion / Re: Coronavirus ?
« on: March 16, 2020, 06:37 »
I just checked my numbers for the first half of the month... It's actually pretty good. I made more money during the past 15 days than during the whole month of February (that was a bad month), and I'm $2 away from my March 2019 performance.

Important to mention: I'm mainly editorial.

I'm monitoring carefully SS, as it's the main channel, and even the recent pictures are getting sales.

The news are constantly changing, so there's a huge demand on anything that could be related to coronavirus, even from far away. As I was mentioning before, crowds on pedestrian streets, law enforcement and first aid related content, typical pictures from the most hit places (if you have previously been to Iran, Italy or Spain, it's time to massively upload), public transportation and commuters, etc. There's a market at the moment.

If the economy goes into recession, it won't last, of course, but there's at the moment a market, so it can be a good idea to make some cash provisions before something financially nasty happens.

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