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1 / SS sale from last month disappeared
« on: June 03, 2020, 16:33 »
I've been with SS for more than 12 years, and this has never happened before.

I noted a video sub sale for $18.95 on 20 May. Today, when I got my payment notice, I saw that the balance didn't match what I was expecting (another thing that had never occurred before). I found the discrepancy was due to a sale that had simply vanished from my earnings data for May.

Has anyone ever had this happen before? I assume (?) the sale was refunded, but just curious what others have experienced.

Or is this just a new way to grab even MORE money from contributors?!  :o

In case you haven't read your email yet:

In the weeks since announcing our new commission structure, weve had the opportunity to speak with a number of contributors in the community. You have given us valuable feedback about how we can serve you better, and we have been working hard to put your ideas into action.

In particular, many of you have expressed concern with our member price for HD footage remaining at $49 with a 50% commission structure in place. We understand how important pricing isnot only to your earnings with Storyblocksbut to your overall participation in the stock media market. We have decided to address your concerns and will be raising the price of HD footage.

By October 15, 2018, we will raise the publicized price of HD footage to $79. This is the price that guests will pay to purchase an HD clip. Members will also be charged $79 per clip, but they will receive a 10% instant rebate at the end of their checkout, the cost of which we will share 50/50 between us and you. In other words, when we sell an HD clip to a Storyblocks member, you will earn $35.55 per asset. For sales to guests, you will earn $39.50 per asset. This also means Storyblocks will no longer collect a guest fee from nonmember purchases. These changes will be reflected in your contributor agreement as well. The new 50% commission share will begin as planned on August 15.

We will never stop working to create a sustainable, thriving community for you, our contributors. Our relationship with you is what sets Storyblocks apart, and we do not take that for granted. As always, please reach out to [email protected] with any questions you have.

All the best,
The Storyblocks Team

Of course I'm still not thrilled with the commission cut. But the price increase helps alleviate that somewhat, and brings their prices more in-line with other stock sites. It's nice to see a company actually make a positive change in response to contributor feedback.

VideoBlocks / Commission cut
« on: July 16, 2018, 10:13 »
Beginning August 1st, you will see a 50/50 commission structure applied to all your sales on both the video and image Marketplaces.

I can't say I'm surprised, but didn't they "promise" that we would ALWAYS received 100% commissions?

Still, as much as I hate to say it, I'm ok with a 50/50 split, as long as sales dramatically increase. I'm skeptical that that will happen, though. But even if it does, that would simply drive more supply to SB/VB, thereby causing a drop in sales per contributor.

I guess I'm just pessimistic about all of microstock by now. Too much supply.

I've been submitting stock videos for a long time now, but when it comes to slow motion clips -- I admit it, I'm never really sure what I'm doing.  ::)

So, my source clip was shot at 59.94 fps. I put the clip into an After Effects project, which sets the frame rate to match the source.

I then do a Time Stretch of 200%, which doubles the clip's time length.

Finally, I render the clip at 29.97 fps, and the final duration matches what I expect. (That is, 10 seconds of the clip at 59.94 takes up 20 seconds on the timeline, and creates a 20-second clip at 29.97.)

So does anyone know why what I'm doing is wrong, and what I should be doing?

Adobe Stock / Video credit royalty?
« on: September 22, 2017, 10:31 »
Almost every HD sale I've had on Fotolia / Adobe Stock has brought me 18 or (mostly) 28 credits. (I had a few just under 20, but last year). This month I've had 3 sales (yeah, I'm a big seller  ::)), and every one has been for 24 credits.  ???

Does anyone know what's changed? Is 24 credits the new 28, or the new 18?

Pond5 / Pond5 Discounts?
« on: January 13, 2017, 20:05 »
I've been on P5 for more years than I care to admit, but I don't remember getting any royalties other than 50% of the prices that I set.

But this month I've had several sales that have been discounted about 15% from my prices.

Is this a first, or have I just been lucky up until now?

I'm considering buying a new (32") monitor. I edit for stock in ProPhoto RGB, usually upload in aRGB, and use a wide gamut (99.5% adobe RGB) monitor. But I wonder if I'm in the minority or not.

Do you usually edit in a wide gamut (aRGB, ProPhoto RGB, etc.)? Do you use a wide gamut monitor?

It's been quite a while since I last wrote SS support. I've never used the "new" 'Contact Us' form before.

I sent in a question on 1 April, but haven't heard back from them yet. Since I don't even have an auto acknowledgement of them receiving my question, I'm just wondering how long I should wait before trying again?

Software / Adobe Photoshop for free!
« on: March 27, 2016, 18:39 »
Taking a cue from the abundance of advertising supported applications on Android and iPhone platforms, Adobe is set to release Photoshop for free, with revenue generated from integrated advertising. Yes, advertising in Photoshop. The official announcement is rumored to come soon.

I found this article particularly disturbing, for reasons that will become clear to anyone who reads the entire thing. Is this going to become a trend? I sure hope not! (Of course, I am not helping by spreading it around now, am I?)

10 / RCs -- Am I the only one?
« on: January 29, 2016, 12:17 »
Yeah, probably, I'm the only one paying even the scantest attention to RCs.

My RC total had not changed since 13 Jan, despite having a few (literally) sales since that date. Is it only my account that isn't updating, or is everyone experiencing the same thing and they just don't know it?

I've been selling clips on SS ... well, for quite a while now. I don't recall ever seeing a month quite like April. There were so many sales well below the "average" selling price I'm used to getting. Has there been a price cut, or a month-long sale?

A few examples follow.

Cart sales, which are normally $5.70, $14.70, and $23.70:
$12.84, $20.19, $22.50.

Sub sales, which are more difficult to follow, but are usually in the range of $12-14 for SD and $20-22 for HD:
$3.97, $10.80, $17.43

Anyone know what might have happened?

General Stock Discussion / April 2015 Earnings
« on: May 01, 2015, 10:08 »
In honor of my worst month ever as an exclusive iStock contributor, and my worst month as a contributor since 2008 (when I had a few dozen images in my port), I thought I'd start this month's earnings thread.  ::)

My April earnings were down 34% from last year's April earnings (exclusive of subs and GI), and down 35% from March earnings.

To give an idea of how far I've fallen, April earnings were almost exactly one third of my BME (which was only in Sep 2013) ... and over 40% off my average earnings from just last year (which itself was my worst year as an exclusive).

Print on Demand Forum / FAA sale: HUGE discount?!
« on: March 13, 2015, 18:15 »
I just had an FAA sale. It's not my first one there, but admittedly I haven't had many.

But it's the first one for which I did not receive my "markup" price. The FAA artist info page states:
The prices that you specify are exactly how much you'll earn when someone buys one of your prints.

Well, no.  >:(

This was a large print sale, that shows this:
Normal Price: $192.00
Discount: $132.50

That's right, the price was discounted by 70%!!!!

I was supposed to make $170 profit, but instead I made $60.  :o

Has anyone heard of this happening before, and why?

PS - Are my prices too high?  ::)  $170 profit sounds ... high. I priced these awhile ago, based on a post by someone here, as I was clueless.

14 / No more ugly lightboxes! Thank goodness.
« on: February 18, 2015, 13:31 »
I have no idea what I was thinking, spending so many countless hours creating different lightboxes that made it easy for buyers to purchase multiple, related files of mine. But thankfully iStock / Getty has corrected my silliness, ensuring (to my relief) that my sales will indeed drop even further. I was getting worried about hitting that plateau.

And descriptions. So many ugly, worthless descriptions. No longer will buyers need to see those, either. Unfortunately, apparently, I still need to write them, for SEO purposes. Because so many of my files are purchased via Google, of course.

General - Stock Video / New video agency: 100% commissions?!
« on: February 13, 2015, 00:11 »
In case anyone missed the thread, this makes for some interesting reading:

General - Stock Video / Too many contributors?
« on: November 11, 2014, 11:53 »
I'm constantly seeing posts from people deciding they're going to start uploading video clips. I think it won't be too long before the popular areas are well over-saturated with clips (considering the demand is so much less than for photos).

I've been trying to log on to P5's FTP server this morning, but so far it's been futile:
[R1] 421 400 users (the maximum) are already logged in, sorry


(Re-formatted to make message more clear)

Site Related / Why is my IS meter reading zero?
« on: September 19, 2014, 22:43 »
I noticed this yesterday. I know it's meaningless, but I can't help it. I don't like to see my IS DLs meter sitting on 0.  ;D

Nothing has changed in my IS account, AFAIK. So why suddenly zero?

Edit: It isn't even visible in this post, for some reason?  :o

Ok, I'll admit it. I'm an oldster (even if I don't feel one) who really isn't into all of this social media stuff. I have Facebook and Twitter accounts, but honestly never use them. So I don't understand them well, nor do I have a feel for what is acceptable use and what is not.

A somewhat well-known magazine purchased one of my Alamy images to use as a "cover" of a web article. The web article has share buttons, one of which is for facebook. When you share the article, it posts something in your facebook timeline: a link to the original article, whatever text you want to add, and the cover photo (mine) that accompanied the article.

According to the counter on the original website, the article (and my photo) have now been shared 100s of times. But GIS (Google Image Search) found only a couple of them, both belonging to another fairly well-known company. Not only does my photo appear in their timeline posts, it also appears in their "Photos" section. (Apparently there is a way to make Facebook automatically add a photo in a timeline post into a "Timeline Photos" album.) From there, anyone clicking on the (my) photo is shown a largish (approximately 1200x800) copy, and is encouraged (with buttons) to share or even download a copy of it.

How do other people deal with this? Just ignore it and let it be, because ... it's the internet? I don't really have a problem with sharing of the original article, but I don't like my photo being included in their photo album (as if it were their photo), which makes it so easy (and seemingly ok) for others to copy. So I'm thinking of asking them to remove my photo from their album. What would you do?


19 / Main collection price increase
« on: May 08, 2014, 17:08 »
Sometime in the last few days, the price of Main files increased 1 credit for all sizes M and above.

S: 2-->2
M: 3-->4
L: 4-->5
XL: 5-->6
XXL: 6-->7
XXXL: 7-->8

That's a 33% price increase on Medium, but only 14% by the time you get up to XXXL.

20 / iStock thinks their buyers are ...
« on: January 08, 2014, 11:33 »
Note: I just realized that I had failed to update my spreadsheet for the increase in cash pricing, so I was using the new (higher) number of credits required for each size, but the lower cash price. Exactly who is the fool here after all?  :o My apologies for misleading people. (And for any conspiracy theorists out there, no one from IS contacted me to point out my error; I discovered it myself. Unless they beamed it to my brain, which is a possibility.  ;D)

I've revised the numbers below to what I hope are the correct values. Cash still isn't that bad a deal for E and E+ files of most sizes (especially compared to Main file cash pricing), but nowhere near the crazy deal I thought it was.

Here are the iStock per-credit prices for "smaller" credit bundles:
10 credits - $2 each
30 credits - $1.83 each
60 credits - $1.67 each
150 credits - $1.60 each
360 credits - $1.55 each

But guess what? If you are buying Signature or Signature+ files (I didn't check Vetta), you are  better off paying the cash prices for many of the file sizes, unless you buy much larger credit bundles (even after the recent raise in cash prices, which I hadn't seen mentioned here).

Not so.

Here are the per-credit prices for Sig+ files:
S+: $2.00
M+: $1.83
L+: $1.83
XL+: $1.82
XXL+: $1.84
XXXL+: $1.83

Here are the per-credit prices for Sig files:
XS: $2.00
S: $2.14
M: $2.00
L: $2.00
XL: $1.96
XXL: $1.96
XXXL: $1.97

Here are the per-credit prices for Main files:
XS: $4.00
S: $3.00
M: $4.67
L: $4.75
XL: $4.20
XXL: $4.50
XXXL: $4.43

Revostock has been very good at communicating with contributors ("producers" in Revo parlance). This blog post from yesterday:
announces a delay in the November payout, warns of some changes to come (uh-oh?), and lets contributors know what has been a big part of the cause of the drop in Revo sales over the last 18 months or more.

It's a very sobering read. For those too lazy (or uninterested) in clicking through, the upshot is a frivolous patent infringement lawsuit was filed against them, and they had to spend significant money and time in order to fight it. The good news is, it's now over, and just in time to (hopefully) save the sinking ship. I do wish them well.

Software - General / LR5 + PS CC for $9.99/mo
« on: September 04, 2013, 13:15 »
More tempting, but I still don't like the idea of having to subscribe for life to be able to use files created with it (e.g., PSD files). 

For PS CS3 or later owners. In a line sounding a lot like Getty, Adobe stated:  "We do not currently have any intention of raising this price."  But you have to sign up before year's end to qualify. No tricks here.  ::)

More details here:] [url][/url]

I'm wondering how things have changed, if they have, for contributors since the big collection and slider "improvements" on 13 June.

ETA: Compared to your recent daily history over the previous several months.

24 / Clients sending designer elsewhere ...
« on: June 20, 2013, 21:52 »
Since the thread may not last long, I thought I'd copy the OP anyway:

Today as I was searching for a picture that would work perfectly in my production, I noticed that all my choices were running anywhere from $70 to $155 for a picture in the resolutions that can work for me.

As other's have said, this is a far cry from many years ago when the same picture was around $10. Case in point, I have many pictures in my archive that I purchased for less than $10 and now sell for $70 and higher.

Now, I get photographers should get paid. As a designer myself, I love to get paid. But my clients are now vetoing using iStock for microstock purchases anymore. They don't want the extra budget in their productions.

it is a real shame. I personally believe that prices should be a bit lower to encourage a higher volume of sales, AND the cut iStockPhoto takes shouldn't be anything much more than 10%. The corporate goals of Getty to their sharholders is forcing me out as a customer, but again not as me, but dealing with client budgets.

My only comment is that perhaps the designer should use the price slider to try to find less expensive images. Sounds like they are looking at only S+ and Vetta files at the prices cited.

25 / Alamy comes through
« on: March 18, 2013, 18:32 »
I had a first-time sale at Alamy last month, and searched to see if I could find the in-use. To my surprise I did find one -- but it was in an article dated May 18, 2011. It was in a different country than the sale I just got, so I knew that this one was not it.

A few days earlier I had written to Alamy about an in-use I found that was stolen from a legitimate buyer's website, and was disappointed to learn they do not pursue such "third-party" thefts. So I wasn't sure what to expect with this one, which could have only been gotten from Alamy's site.

But the response was a positive one, saying it was an unreported distributor sale. It has now appeared in my sales list, though it's dated this month instead of almost 2 years ago, so I get less commission than I really should. However, since it's a $6 gross sale, it doesn't really matter either way. I'm just glad they had to pay something, so it wasn't another stolen in-use.

Though come to think of it, the start & end period is one month long (already expired, but the photo's still there), when it should really be years long. Doesn't that affect the actual price of the sale (this is RM, obviously)? Eh, I give up. Time to move on ....

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