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Topics - Minsc

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General Stock Discussion / 123RF is dead
« on: January 17, 2023, 21:49 »
It started declining at the beginning of 2022 and it fell off a cliff in November. Now I'm making 1/10 of what I used to make in 2019.

January 2023 looks like it's going to be abysmal.

At least Adobe Stock is picking up the slack. They are really taking over the industry. I just hope they continue to treat contributors well.

Thanks to the incompetent idiots in charge, we're on our way to a recession.

I anticipate that many companies with either start downgrading or cancelling their microstock accounts from sites like SS and AS.

My SS sales has dipped in the last few weeks. Less big sales and less daily downloads.

Just brace yourselves for what's to come and stop supporting people who are economically illiterate.

General Stock Discussion / Incorporating your stock business
« on: February 22, 2021, 17:31 »
Has anyone registered their stock business as a LLC in the U.S.?

I've been thinking about it a lot lately since my little stock business is growing in scale. If you're incorporated, I would like to know about your experience.

- Do you pay more taxes / less taxes in general?

- What are the benefits of being a LLC? What are the pros and cons?

Shutterstock.com / Let's hit SS where it hurts
« on: June 01, 2020, 12:42 »
Since they're destroying our livelihood, let's take their online reputation down a few notches. I've complied a list of sites where you can file a report against company or leave a review.

Better Business Bureau

Review Websites

Social Media

I don't recommend using your real account for comments on social media. They may be able to trace it back to you and disable your account. But we shouldn't let up. Let's leave reviews on all these websites and hammer their social media.

General Stock Discussion / Taxes 2020
« on: February 09, 2020, 20:39 »
Let's use this thread to keep track of tax-related discussions.

SS was nice enough to provide us with a 1099 for 2019, but I can't say the same about the other sites.

- Shutterstock - Complete
- Adobe stock - Waiting
- iStock/Getty - Compete - Available on ESP portal.
- 123RF - Waiting
- Dreamtime - Waiting

If anyone know how to get a 1099 for the different sites, feel free to share.

AKA the CASE Act.

The Copyright Alternative in Small-Claims Enforcement Act of 2019 (the CASE Act) is a proposed United States law that would provide a new means for copyright holders to seek payment for infringed works. It would establish a small-claims-court-like board of three judges within the U.S. Copyright Office to adjudicate copyright infringement cases. Damages would be limited to US$15,000 for each infringed work, and $30,000 total per claim. The measure was introduced into Congress in May 2019, and was passed by the House of Representatives on October 22, 2019.


I feel like the damages are excessive, but it's going to be an effective tool to go after infringers in the U.S. Those Esty sellers better watch out.

Adobe Stock / What's going on with Adobe Stock?
« on: August 05, 2019, 20:19 »
Sales were steady until a few months ago. It has dropped over 25% in the last few months.

I know they're transitioning all FT buyers over, but there are no more credit sales and subscription prices seem to be higher other major sites. Are they losing customers to SS?

AS has been my most consistent earner, but this decline is worrying. They were doing a lot of things right until recently.

Shutterstock.com / New algorithm change on Shutterstock
« on: January 06, 2018, 13:43 »
It looks like it was changed on Thursday. Based on what I've seen, they seem to be testing different algorithms on the popular tab. One set of results show more new items and another set of results show a mix of new and old content. My downloads were impacted on Thursday, but it made a recovery yesterday. It looks like they're still testing and we probably won't know the full impact of it until next week.

I've seen some of my top images disappear from the search results and seen some move up. I think they're trying to mix it up and show more new content.

While contributors are at the mercy agencies, websites are at the mercy of Google, specifically their Search Algorithm. In February 2017, Google tweaked their algorithm that ranks website search placement. After the change, some websites saw positive impact and some saw negative impact.

This change unfortunately affected nearly all microstock websites. Googles Quality Rater Guidelines were updated and adjusted how they rate User Engagement. One of the new penalties of the change was excessive pagination. Websites with excessive pagination was penalized for low-quality engagement and we all know every Microstock website has lots and lots of pagination.

Here is a list of the prominent Microstock websites:


Notice the dip in February after the algorithm change. Some websites are making a recovery, but some like SS, 123RF, DT have not. It's not an easy problem to solve for microstock agencies since they require a lot of pagination.

And it's going to benefit contributors.

Before, it was showing the most popular images from a contributor's portfolio. Today, they started showing similar images from the contributor's portfolio to better compete with the "Similar Images" section.

I woke up to more downloads this morning and people are downloading similar images from my portfolio. I haven't seen sales moving at this pace since November. March is going to be a great month if this new change sticks.

General Stock Discussion / Tax season 2017
« on: February 18, 2017, 13:53 »
So far I've gotten tax documents from:

- Shutterstock
- Fotolia/Adobe Stock
- iStock/Getty

Still missing:

- 123RF

I vaguely remember 123RF made it available late February last year. Has anyone gotten anything from them yet?

One normal camera and one telephoto lense camera. Combined, it can be used to create depth of field. Could be a great tool for editorial and portraits. At 12MP, it could be good enough for microstock.

It's also going to make it more accessible for new photographers to enter the field.

Just saw something interesting while looking at the sales graph. US sales accounts for nearly 70% of my revenue now. It looks like they also back filled the previous months.

I remember looking at the graph a few weeks ago and only about 10% were from US sales. I wonder if they messed up the reporting metrics previously and just fixed it recently. It kinda make sense that 70% of sales would come from US buyers.

They've expanded their Spark product to include video and what seem like presentations. Their initial product is similar to canva, but they're more focused on social design postings which has very little money in it.

Canva on the other hand has expanded their offerings, which includes the buying of credits on their app for purchasing images for their designs. Adobe is trying to sell cloud storage through the apps, which makes very little money. It looks like a bad corporate decision to expand their cloud storage business, but Adobe Spark can be so much more.

If Adobe were to integrate Adobe Stock into Adobe Spark, a natural coupling... Adobe Stock could see some nice growth and Adobe Spark can become more useful. A win win for both products. And contributors can see a bump in Adobe Stock/FT income. Apple taking a 30% cut of the IAP credits may be what's causing Adobe to be hesitant, but they just may have to bite that bullet on that one.

Shutterstock.com / Finally made it to the top tier
« on: May 09, 2016, 13:39 »
It took a while, but I finally made it to the $.38 tier. I remember making about $3 with 10 images in my first month and I was thinking to myself...maybe I can make money doing this.

All I wanted to do was make a bit of side money to buy some tech toys and fund my hobbies. I didn't think I'd be in the position I'm in today. I think I hit every goal I wanted to hit in SS, though I still have a few more goals for FT.

It's been a nice ride and I'm thankful for all the motivation I got on this forum.

Over the last year, I found 2 people stealing my work. I've seen it time and time again, where some people download another contributor's work and used it as an element in their work, or download it, change the colors a bit and call it their own.

If you're going to steal, don't contribute it to the same stock site. It's going to come up in the search results and it's not going to go unnoticed. I wonder what goes through their head when they do it. "Maybe if I change it just enough, they won't notice."?

On the popular tab. What was on page 2 is now on page 1. And what was on page 1 is now on page 2.

I think it happened within the last hour. I hope this is a temporary glitch as the new results are of lower quality.

Anyway, just be prepared for the storm.

Tried to in the afternoon, and then tried again on Sunday night. Website said the submission was successful, but there's nothing in the pending approval list.

I hope they fix it Monday morning.

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