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Topics - CommuniCat

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General Stock Discussion / Stock Coalition Collection on Pond5
« on: August 12, 2020, 09:13 »
One of the outcomes of our meetings with Pond5 has been their agreement to create a special Stock Coalition Collection that will be featured on the main page of Pond5.

If you are a contributor to Pond5 and wish to have your work featured in the Stock Coalition Collection, you obviously need to have joined the Stock Coalition first.

Join us here: https://stockcoalition.org/join-us/

Find out more about the Pond5 collection on our public forums here:

*** Update *** The standard membership application form now also includes and option to participate in the Pond5 collection.

Documents were filed today in the US to create a non-profit organization, the Stock Coalition.

This will be the basis upon which every contract with every agency will be signed, and will support Coalition initiatives. This is a major milestone for the Stock Coalition as all of our work will be official, backed by our own organization.

To find out more, join the Stock Coalition here: https://stockcoalition.org/join-us/

Once the application form has been submitted, you will be able to gain access to the main members forum where more details about the organisation have been posted. 

I suspect that the lid blows off on this story from today:

For those of you who are aligned with getting something more than $0.10 for your images and $1 for your videos, please post news as you see it coming through on this.

All stock contributors are invited to join The Stock Coalition here: https://stockcoalition.org/

The Stock Coalition site beta is now live. Please head over to the front page and join up on the membership form. Thanks for all of those who have submitted images. Please bear with us as we add more images to the front page slider and build a gallery for all of them.

Thanks also to those who have seen the site already and pointed out errors or constructive criticism. It's been a very busy few days so I've not got back to anyone or had much time for fixes. I will send on our site developer for fixing though. If you do experience any problems, please email us directly at [email protected].


Saturday, 20 June, 2020 In what appears to be yet another example of big tech stifling free speech, Facebook has gagged an Inside Imaging journalists article relating to a media industry organisation, The Stock Coalition, and their call for artists and media buyers to boycott online creative stock giant Shutterstock, after the New York-based agency cut contributor compensation to as low as $0.10 per download.

Media industry specialist online title, Inside Imaging picked up a press release issued by The Stock Coalition this week, and journalist William Shipton approached the organisation for further comment.

In his article, Mr Shipton asserted that Shutterstock is waiting for all of this to blow over. And while the backlash was likely expected, its doubtful Shutterstocks new management, including recently-appointed CEO Stan Pavlovsky, anticipated contributors would form a lobby group. Mr Shipton further balanced his article with comment from a representative from a competing agency, Dreamstime.

Yet mysteriously, almost as soon as the piece was published, Facebook placed a gag on sharing the news article. Reader, Elijah Lovkoff, provided a screenshot of a message from Facebook that read: Your message couldnt be sent because it includes content that other people on Facebook have reported as abusive. Stock Coalition representatives from around the world soon began reporting the same problem.

More here: https://stockcoalition.org/2020/06/20/facebook-gags-industry-article-on-shutterstock-shutdown/

June 14, 2020 The newly-formed Stock Coalition, an industry body representing global photographers, illustrators, animators, videographers and other artists who contribute their work to agencies for distribution, has joined the call for a global shutdown of Shutterstock portfolios from 15 - 21 June, after the New York-based agency cut contributor compensation to as low as $0.10 per download.

More here: https://stockcoalition.org/resources/stockcoalitionpr.html

As many of you will already be aware, moves are afoot to create an organisation to effectively represent us and to safeguard the value of our creative assets. In less than 24-hours, a domain has been purchased and a team are already working the creation of a website at www.stockcoalition.org.

A call has already gone out for stock photo contributions for the site on the Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/261369748434285

That said, not everyone monitors their Facebook, so here are the details of the request:

Good news - we have that website build underway. However, we are calling on our community of talented artists to contribute one picture each that best represents your work and your country. The goal will be to have between three and five images for a front-page slider and then a gallery of smaller images that are representative of the broad global talent we have as a community.

Those who want to assist, please supply images no larger than 1500px on the long side. We will reference the photographer, but will not have watermarks - so treat it as if it were an agency purchase and supply images accordingly.

To contribute, please email your images directly to [email protected]. Please also include your First Name, Last Name, optional nickname or stock handle and your website or agency portfolio that you wish to promote online.

Fundamentally, Shutterstock owns nothing. They are just a marketplace that brings buyers and sellers together.

How long does it take for shareholders to realise that without any images or videos these fools have nothing to sell? I don't care how clever they think they are to cut the pie ever smaller for contributors, they have just destroyed one of the fundamentals to their business model.

Surely "investors" will notice that too? And the sh!t storms only getting started.

General Stock Discussion / Figuring out a way forwards
« on: June 06, 2020, 08:18 »
My stock journey began with an applicate to supply Getty Images - probably about 20 years ago now. I believe that I received a letter of rejection that mentioned something about not bothering to attempt submission again ;)

I did not give up though and searched for other agencies that may be interested in representing my work. That first agency was Shutterstock. Like others, I went to contribute to other agencies too. Now there are three of us contributing in my business - one more or less full time working on stock video. This work has made a lot of money for the various agencies over the years. Us less so.

I started in microstock because Getty did not give me a chance. So obviously, I shed no tears when my "team" of stock contributors obliterated the industry and we got paid a bit for our efforts.

Unfortunately, some of our agencies have not been able to establish a competitive advantage on anything other than price and availability. Reading the comments and listening to the many YouTube videos, it's pretty obvious that if any of us are going to extract any value from our creative work going forwards, we have to change who we entrust to market our works.

Some agencies are just going to continue to erode price and cut commissions indefinitely and it's obvious to most that it's time to only work with agencies that are committed to providing competitive advantage based on something other than price - like exclusivity and limited availability of core content.

But what are the solutions going forwards for us as contributors?

For photos, I've applied for representation at Stocksy. My thought process was to pull the best-selling top 20% my image portfolio from all agencies and send it exclusively to Stocksy. I have no idea if Stocksy wants my work yet though. All new photo work would go to Stocksy too. Over time I'd then move all reasonable work across to Stocksy and either cull the rest or just sell it from my own site.

One thing this is very compelling for me about Stocksy is that it's a collective. They are not going to be listed on a stock market or bought by some dickhead corporate fund. In other words, as a collective, their primary concern is to keep their buyers and sellers reasonably satisfied. There can be (structurally at least) no other weird and wonderful motives at play.

If Stocksy does not accept my application though, I'm really not sure at this point how to handle the photos.

For video, I'm leaning strongly in favour of going exclusive at Pond5 and removing videos from all other agencies. But I've not been paying attention to the market enough and have a lot of questions like:

- Pond5 exclusivity is for video only, right? If I sent my photos to Stocksy, there would be no conflict between the two agreements?

- Pond5 has an agreement to market though other agencies like Adobe and Vimeo stock. So by pulling my files from Adobe and marketing them all through Pond5, I'd still get the price that I allocate for the videos and I'm not hurting Adobe unnecessarily? Adobe have been a good agency to deal with so far for us and I assume many others too.

- What you lose by not selling at cent commission sites, presumably you can recover somewhat by increasing your clip prices and by obtaining better commissions. I guess that's the thinking, but is that what others have experienced?

- I've spent some time and money building up our own website to represent our work - it seems that Pond5 is comfortable that we continue to market our own work ourselves too?

Anyone else have any questions and comments about this and our options as contributors in the market going forwards?

Perhaps it would be helpful to identify some pathways to best representation for most contributors. We really are pretty much in the same boat with all of this and sharing our options may be good for all.

General Stock Discussion / Keyword tool broken?
« on: June 01, 2020, 09:15 »
It's a fantastic thing that we use in our office all of the time . . . it is broken?

My camera (Sony PXW-X70) has a paid upgrade to 4k and I see is finally scheduled to have a reasonable bitrate at 4k with a firmware update that is due soon.

I'd like to contribute 4k footage going forwards, but need to be a bit realistic about the file sizes.

Since moving to Mac and taking video a bit more seriously, I've been aiming for maximum quality and submitting ProRes 422 files. But now I'm really tempted to submit footage, especially 4k footage, using the H.264 codec.

The way I'm starting to see it is that the ProRes 422 codec is a bit like a 16bit Tiff file. Great for about 1% of the population, but for everyone else an 8bit jpg will do just fine.

Is there any real difference from a quality perspective that a buyer may consider important and impact sales?

123RF / Cannot convert balance to credits?
« on: January 08, 2015, 02:28 »
Does anyone know if 123RF is no longer allowing the conversion of sales balance to credits?

The site instructions at http://www.123rf.com/guidebook/c03s10.htm reads "The 'Convert Balance to Credits' link enables you to purchase online credits with your earnings based on the available package prices."

However, I'm not getting a "Convert Balance to Credits" link at the bottom of my profile. Just a line about "You have submitted your ID for payment verification. "

Have they hidden the conversion process or removed it altogether?

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