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Topics - dgilder

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1 / Odd iStock Download
« on: April 13, 2011, 13:49 »
So when I pulled my port from iStock, I left a single file:

In the file's download details it shows a single download on March 16th for 0.14 (xSmall Regular), this is the only download for this file listed.  My Uploads agrees with this, there is only one file with one download, as do the stats page. 

However, the stats pages also show a single download for February 28th (in blue, so it must have been a file purchase, right?) for 0.08.  This does not show up anywhere else on the site and my account balance actually is 0.22. 

Any ideas on the phantom, unrecorded download?  Did I miss any news about accounting issues at iStock?

2 / Slippery Slope
« on: March 05, 2011, 23:25 »
This only goes to January, who wants to take bets that Shutterstock passed iStock in February?

So here is what I posted on iStock that caused them to revoke my ability to post in the forums, and lock me out of sitemail.   Make of that what you will:

So lets take a step back and look at all this from a different perspective. Lets change our base assumption of corporate greed and look at this from a protective iStock point of view.

Individual sales have slowed for many people as prices have gone up. Ultimately, that has actually increased the amount of money iStock has paid out to us. Now lets assume iStock is looking out for the contributors more than itself. If sales are going to slow down severely, it would make those previous cannister based royalties unsustainable. It would take much longer to get to each level. If, however, you switch to this 'credits redeemed' system, each sale carries more weight, and the targets can be adjusted to help people reach those next royalty levels on the same pace they would have if the sales had not historically dropped due to price increases.

So where does that leave us? Kelly says you will make the same or more under the new system. If iStock is truly the benefactor in this situation, then the credit cost for images stands to rise dramatically in the new year. This is why they would need a new system, because sales quantities will drop, and they would need a way to keep people on track for their royalty levels.

iStock is going Midstock

Buyers Beware.

4 / iStock down?
« on: September 16, 2010, 10:44 »
Can anyone else get to iStock?  I keep getting timeout messages, anyone else see the same thing?

5 / iStock: No Compromise
« on: September 15, 2010, 16:26 »

6 / Money where my mouth is.
« on: September 14, 2010, 15:22 »
I don't know how long this will last on iStock's forums, so I figured I would post here.

It has been a week since Kelly's announcement regarding iStock's future royalty structure.  In the past week there has been much (sometimes heated) discussion in the various announcement threads about the reasoning timing behind these changes, the financial impacts to various contributors, and calls for iStock to reconsider its position.  Kelly's has made it very clear that iStock will not be reconsidering any of this, and that the changes are required to shift iStock's position in the marketplace in order to make it's continued growth sustainable.

Many contributors (and even customers) were upset, and there have been many pleas to set aside our feelings and look at everything from a pure business perspective.  Kelly has said that iStock will do its best to make up the difference through increased sales.  From a money standpoint, if sales go up, and the money is the same even at the lower commission, then impacts are minimized.

I have been struggling with this.  I have looked at everything from the money perspective, and I do believe that iStock will be able to make up the money difference. 

However, I do not make many decisions in life based solely on money, and given that I can survive financially without exclusive income from iStock, I have an easier decision to make than most contributors.  Not only have I have decided to remove money from the picture entirely, I am removing my own personal situation from my decision.

iStock is treating its independents, illustrators, videographers, and audio contributors unfairly.  If the exclusive's higher percentages were unsustainable, then they should be the only ones impacted and given targets to hit.  Cutting independents pay by 10-25% is wrong, and paying less than 20% royalties for something you are only re-marketing is reprehensible.  Morally, ethically, I can no longer continue to do business with iStockphoto.

I have just canceled my exclusivity, and will be removing my entire portfolio of images over the next 30 days.  To my fellow contributors, good luck on your future endeavors, Farewell.

For any buyers who might need some of my photos after the 30 day period, you will be able to find them at Shutterstock, Dreamstime, and Fotolia.

7 / iStock changing royalty structure
« on: September 07, 2010, 14:36 »

Basically, you get x% royalties based on how many credits were used to download your files the past year.

As a gold exclusive, next year my royalty will drop 5% based on the new plan, even after I finally hit diamond.

So after a several day long headache, and multiple conversations by phone and email with iStock contributor relations (who were extremely helpful), a problem with one of my release files has been resolved.  It stemmed from having prefilled the date on the signature line of the model release.  I would suggest to everyone who submits to iStock that you have the model/witness/etc hand-write the date next to their signature rather than pre-filling this information when you print the form.

Just thought this might be helpful, so I thought I would share.

General Stock Discussion / How it all adds up
« on: June 22, 2009, 10:08 »
So I spent some time today adding up all my microstock sales and earnings in the five years I've been submitting to various sites.  I've decided to go ahead and make this public since so many are secretive about what they actually earn in the microstock world.  Maybe this will shed a little light into the area.

Over five years I sold 37,143 image licenses through six agencies (IS,DT,SS,FT,123rf,StockXpert) for a total of $17,641.96, averaging $0.48 per license from a collection of about 1,700 images.  That puts my overall return per image per year at around $2.08.

There you go, not the best results in the world, but they've certainly paid for equipment upgrades and studio space.  Feel free to step up to the plate and share your cumulative totals, maybe it will help give people just starting out some realistic expectations.

Adobe Stock / Leaving Fotolia
« on: August 13, 2008, 15:04 »
I'm dropping Fotolia, as they refuse to accept my drivers license with potentially dangerous information removed (DL number, etc.)   They already forced me to supply my social security number, and to keep a copy of my drivers license on the same servers with my SSN is just begging for identity theft if someone hacks into their system.   I asked them to explain more about what measures they have in place to protect our identities from fraud and they refused.

Not sure what everyone else will make of this, but thought the info should be out there in case other people try to be cautious with their personal information.

I've generally avoided sites that allow web template usage or one-off product usage (one of the main reason I don't license through Bigstock).  Now StockXpert is removing the ability to opt out of extended licenses, which I had previously avoided due to the web template and product extended licenses.

At this point I'm probably going to remove my portfolio from StockXpert.  I've always viewed web template usage as damaging to the web designers that comprise a large portion of microstock customers.  On the product front, I generally dislike the idea of my photos on poor quality products most of these online stores sell.

Does anyone feel the same?  Does anyone have any good arguments in support of template and product licensing?  Are the potential returns from  StockXpert's new direction with worth letting my standards slide with just that one site?  If so, would BigStock be worth taking another look at?

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