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so, what's the deal with shutterstock? decided I might try using them again, and the people (or algorithm) they have doing the "review" reject 100% of the items submitted? thought I'd get enough sales to cash out - so submitted a bunch of items - and 100% "rejection" rate with b.s. reasons... are they really just trying to p_ss off contributors?

General Stock Discussion / recommended video sites?
« on: May 22, 2021, 10:11 »
hi, I know of pond5/adobestock, & "used" to use shutterstock - but - what other video sites would you recommend that have at least some chance of making sales?

General Stock Discussion / adobe creative cloud subscription?
« on: January 25, 2021, 10:49 »

It was nice Adobe offering a 1 year subscription to its service for people with approved video/photo portfolios (I forgot what the # was, but I think it was 250+ videos or something like that).

Is Adobe doing that again this year? I didn't hear anything from them, but am an active contributor and would be interested in getting an extension on my subscription. Thanks!

Curious - is shutterstock now just 'punishing' contributors with $0.30 VIDEO downloads?

No idea how they could get it down that low, unless they are keeping the majority of the commission...

Obviously seems everyone is making a difference for them to decide to make it a super low comission...

General Stock Discussion / new site/top post/etc
« on: June 13, 2020, 08:30 »
Hi - Yes I know there are a lot of posts (now and past) talking about a new site. But they seem to be a bit disorganized, so I want this one to be a bit different in that I'll update the main thread (this first post) with good ideas/useful feedback/etc to help formulate a plan.

New/Self Hosted Site Requests
- Easy upload, supports pictures & videos, meta tags, descriptions, etc
- Easy payment system integration (whether paypal, or custom payment provider)
- Fast (i.e., no wp plugin)
- Cheap/inexpensive

- If a 'co-operative', Verifying quality (i.e., preventing nude pics from being uploaded, "sensitive"/"gore", actual crap, etc).
- Marketing (cost effective way of getting buyers to the site). Do you do massive self promotion (time consuming), or pay for traffic (costly and requires work to make a profit on it?)

Possible Solutions?

a) Self hosted (you pay for domain, hosting + cost of software package to manage/upload/etc). Pricing (I've looked @ getting the lowest, but most reasonable prices for all of that) - you'd probably be looking at $30/month. (Which includes about 2,000 high quality images (5MB each) or 300 large 4k videos. Of course - there are better/cheaper solutions once you get higher images/volumes, but that requires more coding/a different software package).

Would you personally pay $30/month for that? (And about $50-$75/month if you went to 10,000 high quality images + 1500 large 4k videos?)

b) Marketing - while it would be 'nice' to market things as a co-operative - the main issue is quality. It would just take one person to say upload nude pics, etc that would ruin it for everyone else. So - you actually would either need (trained) curators & a system to ensure they do their job - OR... separate marketing...

So - if it WAS run as a co-operative - how could images/etc be reviewed 'cheaply' so you could market everything together?

OR - if it was separate marketing, there's 2 main option, paid & non-paid traffic. Someone going the "organic" route would have to do a lot of self promotion (youtube videos, instagram, writing articles, etc) - and there is no 'instant' results (you could work for 3-4 months without seeing anything significant) - and no guarantee your efforts would even produce results. (Most likely it would, but there is no guarantee).

Paid traffic challenge is - how to make more money than you spend. LOTS of people spending $ on that, few people actually making $. (And nowadays, because you are competing with 'smart' people - you need things like recurring revenue, sales funnels, etc to cover the cost of the traffic).

I think marketing is the big big challenge here... which sites like shutterstock currently benefit from (i.e., 'relationships' with google to position their content first)...

So... how do you market yourself effectively? I think that is the main challenge... Ideas?

Okay, everyone knows shutterstock gave the middle finger to the majority of its contributors, knowing full well most individual contributors would be scared to leave, thinking 'something' is better than 'nothing'. Problem with that thinking is you continue to get screwed, until you actually get nothing, and it's too late to do anything.

Money, or what affects their income source/money is pretty much the only thing that a company like shutterstock will listen to.

So. Here's some specific things that can be done.

1. How to effectively reach & band contributors together.
2. Effective negative publicity
3. Promote other 'good' sites (i.e., dreamstime right now), moving customers to better paying sites

1. How to effectively reach & band contributors together.

a) is a fantastic resource to get the list of contributors that you can contact one by one.
If you could get the top 100 contributors (which is about 10% of the total assets on shutterstock) to agree to do something (i.e., turn portfolio off), that would send a very strong message. Chances are though - they benefit from the new scheme, so may or may not be willing to participate. You'd need to use a different approach (i.e., they'd like the idea of bargaining power to INCREASE revenue further).
b) You simply look @ the contributor name, go to google, type "contributor name + shutterstock" look @ their about tab, and some have contact information. Not everyone does. But this is one way of getting individual contact information. (They may also have contact info on another site, as most ppl have more than one agency they submit to).
c) (While I don't care for google's lack of privacy protection in general) - at the moment - google docs can be useful for people sharing/updating who has been contacted/agrees/etc. Alternatively, if someone wanted to use their website, or be a bookkeeper, could do that too.

Not sure how many ppl it would take turning off their portfolio, whether its 10, 100, or 1000, but at some point, shuttertstock would pay attention.

2. Negative publicity

a) Review sites. Posting negative reviews does to some degree have an effect (tends to be the #, the site posted on, and so forth). Be truthful (don't just bash/namecall, but specific about what wrong they are doing).
b) Contacting actual print publications. I.e.,
Journalists love a good story. Basically you find a journalist who would be sympathetic to what you have to say. So you might google something like "publication name + rotten companies" or "publication name + companies abusing power", etc, etc.

One possible approach would be something like "In the midst of a crisis for the general population, when most businesses are bending over backwards to provide better service and help people, not only does shutterstock - a 654 MILLION revenue a year company not do that -  but they decide to shave more money off the top from 95% of struggling contributors that their business is based on". (The 95% is a guess, but probably accurate - as I am guessing it would only be the top 5%, or less, that have the bulk of assets & subsequent sales that would see either the same or an increased commission).

If enough people contact enough journalists, there are likely to be stories to be printed.

Print publications are also good. Just google something like 'top print publications'.

3. Promote other 'good' sites, moving customers to better paying sites

Dreamstime (long time ago) was upset because they losrt google rank (and actually I think I remeber reading google struck a deal with shutterstock, to promote their assets over sites like dreamstime).

Companies need good publicity/advertising, and people love "causes". (I.e., look at "hashtag" anything, and you'll find "hashtag-movement" "hashtag-stop-the-opression", etc, etc).

So companies that are doing right by people (i.e., at the moment dreamstime seems to be one of them) - promote them. Help drive sales to sites that are doing RIGHT by contributors (i.e., right now dreamstime).

Consumers do tend to "stick" with something when they are used to it, but - they still do read twitter, facebook posts, etc - and if "everyone" is saying "go check out this site" - they'll most likely follow their peers, and check out that site.

Don't underestimate just how powerful, effective, & quick this can be. (I read somewhere someone said 161 people responded to the poll - if 161 people ALL posted on facebook/twitter/etc to say go to dreamstime), you'd be surprised how fast that can catch on with a good hashtag name, cause & powerful reason.

These are some very specific, effective strategies you can employ today.

Once shutterstock starts seeing a difference (whether its customers migrating to other platforms, or contributors stop uploading/cancelling their accounts), they will be more inclined to listen.

Fun facts about shutterstock, in case anyone is wondering 'how well' they are doing.

$654 MILLION  IN REVENUE in 2018-2019. After ALL expenses (i.e., jet planes, hotels, bonuses for execs, salaries, etc) - $54 MILLION in profit. Extra money. That they couldn't figure out how to reduce lower to lower their taxes. (Envato btw, also apparently $113 MILLION in 2019 according to a forbes article, but since they are private & apparently have some interesting accounting, not sure if the figure is accurate, understated, etc), after trying to minimize contributors money as much as possible).

Financial reports for public companies are fun to read, I highly recommend it. Here is the 2018 financial report for shutterstock.

HIGHLY recommend reading it. Highly doubt they are 'hurting' at the moment (as they did transition to subscriptions, which actually take more money out of a contributors pocket than straight commission sale the way it is structured) - but rather a price gouge from their contributor base. Obviously I haven't seen their 2020 financials, but based on experience I'd say it's a) a boost for the execs to give themselves a bit more money, b) positioning for shareholders to say 'hey look, ain't we doing great!'.

Also - for someone who thinks they might be getting a 'great deal' with the new structure (whether videos or images) - you have to look at the 'average' sale you make. For the first six months let say you are at 15%. If the next six months you are at 30% (or even say 40%) assuming you sell the same # of clips consistently (which btw are incredibly HIGH thresholds) - you are still worse off than without it. Because the 'average' clip comission is lower overall.

Read the report. Fun read.

Wrong, very wrong.

So. Obviously b.s..

a) Rejection rates climbing to 80-90% for submissions
b) Now a HUGE money grab. Most people (80-90%) will NEVER exceed the video download count or image download count to get to the "original" 30% level they are at now. (You need 250 video sales to get "back" to 30%, and 500 image sales to get back to 30%).

So the e-mail SHOULD read "Hi, we've decided we want more money from you. So effectively immediately, in 5 days - your commission is going for 30% to 15% for EVERYTHING YOU SELL".

Shutterstock knows that, they aren't stupid. They have the data. So they know they are STEALING from most contributors. But it's funny how they pretend to be upbeat and say "Stay tuned for even more posts that include tips to help contributors quickly climb to higher levels and increase their opportunities to earn money." and the crap comment "This creates fair opportunities for all our contributors, rewarding performance with greater earnings potential.".

No, it's a way for them to steal more contributor earnings, padding their own pockets and paying out less.

c) That coupled with the recent cut to their new "subscription" model - which again sees THEM see a huge BOOST in revenue, but nothing to contributors.

Kinda crap, seems they are trying to compete with envato for shady dishonest tactics.

General Stock Discussion / new pond5 licensing?
« on: May 12, 2020, 10:24 »
not sure exactly what this means as a contributor (not exactly sure how it differs before what was set up, and/or if it affects longterms sales... my feeling is shortterms sales may increase (people like 'broad' licenses) - but not sure what it means for you as a contributor long term? just received an e-mail that said...

We've made licensing easier! Starting today, everything sold on Pond5 - including Commercial and Editorial Video & Images, Music, Sound Effects, After Effects Templates, and 3D Models - is available with the broadest rights in the industry. Included in the list price, our Individual License provides worldwide distribution, across all media, forever. On top of that, youll also get $15,000 in legal coverage free-of-charge for a completely worry-free experience.

Newbie Discussion / alamy keywording?
« on: April 23, 2020, 06:30 »
is there any easy way (like uploading a .csv file) to keyword items at alamy? or does it have to be done individually for every single photo?


very frustrated with some of the reviewers who appear to just do an auto "100%" rejection because they are too lazy to do their job.

seems some of the reviewers shutterstock employs have figured out how to game the system, so are doing zero work, to get paid. (to be clear, not all of them - some do their job - I like those reviewers - it's the ones that don't do their jobs that I don't like).

seems the game is for those ones is - they wait as long as possible to review the items (i.e., say a week) - so it gives the "appearance" of being reviewed to the (semi-automated) metrics shutterstock uses - so they can paid for doing nothing. I'm all for reviewing & approving 'good quality' images & videos, and rejecting poor quality. But when you happen to land one of these reviewers who just wants money for nothing, so autorejects 100%, it's very frustrating.

Would be a great time now shutterstock to either weed out these poor quality reviewers - OR - a different company to do a better job than shutterstock.

anyone know where?

that's really devaluaing the content, especially as now it prices videos at $3/video for people who purchase.

also - if say someone doesn't use their full subscription (i.e., lets say they only use 5/10 items) - that means shutterstock pockets the rest of the money?
(so in reality, they are giving you an even LOWER commission than the 30%, more like 10-15%/video)...

seems right now the solution by some reviewers at shutterstock is to reject 100% of items. total laziness.

the reasons have no bearing on the video footage. its actually a complete waste of time right now to even bother submitting.

I'd recommend everyone else here for the time being don't submit to shutterstock, unless you want to re-do your work later.

General Stock Discussion / new shutterstock tos differences?
« on: February 05, 2020, 18:22 »
seems shutterstock 'just' released new terms... does anyone know the difference between this and the previous tos?

I took a quick look - 'seems' to be reasonable everything there - not sure... I have a copy of the old contract if anyone is interested to look over it with a fine tooth comb...

Before I go contacting shutterstock...

They only gave me $1.50 for a VIDEO clip? (Which they are selling at  a bare *minimum* of $51 on their subscription plan)

Their "cheapest" plan located here:

Is 25 sd clips for $1,299 (or $51.96 each)

Here they say regardless of plan, you get 30% for video...

SO........ how did they end up with $1.50? Anyone have any insight?

Seeing as certain agencies are trying to "force" the bigger ones in a race to the bottom through a subscription model (and seem to forget what made them BIG was the contributors contributing content)...

What would you pay for your own subscription site? IF you had an easy to use/plug & play solution?

(Also - by 'plug & play' - I don't mean a wordpress plugin. I mean something where *literally* all you have to do is upload your assets, and enter your payment information, and then start marketing - unless you want that included too).

a) Images? Video?
b) $29/month? $59/month? $99/month? More? Less?
c) Features you'd want?
d) What would you pay for 'marketing' of your content?
e) What is your portfolio size? (100 items? 1000? 10000?)

I'm thinking a good solution to the "content crisis" was if individual authors could manage their own content, and collect 100% of the fees for their work.

Not only would it help stop the race to the bottom (simply because the "mega" agencies would receive significantly less new content), but it would help make authors feel more in control of their work, and not have to undermine their own efforts.

What are your thoughts?

So funny. HISTORY of storyblocks. (BTW - for those that cite "cost" for hosting videos -
it's actually become dirt cheap to host videos, i.e., 1 cent per 1000 videos/month, so
"cost" really is not a factor for any of these decisions).

a) 100% COMMISSIONS FOREVER! Aren't we great?
Translation: (We want a no-risk way of seeing what sells, then buy those clips dirt cheap)

Translation: (We bough all the dirt cheap clips that sold well, but now want a cut of the
periodic sales that we don't want to buy).

Translation: kk, we've squeezed as much juice as we can out of the clips that don't sell
well - customers don't want to pay full price for those, but we can boost our subscriptions
making us craploads of money, and throwing a few crumbs their way.

d) WHAT? No one is signing up because they don't want to sell it for micropennies? Well,
we'll send them a PRETEND letter saying they were "specially" selected! (So storyblocks
sent out a letter to contributors saying "YOU HAVE BEEN SELECTED TO BE EXPEDIATED

e) Very few still get excited about the micropennies program, even with the "SPECIALLY
selected" program. So storyblocks says "FINE! You ain't gonna sign up? Well - we are
otherwise we are going to KICK YOU OFF! EXCITING NEWS, EH?!?!?!?!"

Cost is a minimal factor here. (It literally is less than a penny to host 1000+ videos/month. As long
as you make more than 1 penny/1000 videos in sales, you are profitable).

The only real complaints they would have had would be from subscribers - who were paying a dirt
cheap price ($30/month) - and noticed there was a corresponding clip from the marketplace that
"looked" better for their project - so they complained, asking why should they have to pay $70 when
they have dirt cheap access to 100,000+ other clips.

So, the reason for the program is pure greed, and simply because they want to reduce customer support
questions specifically related to that.

They want to further dominate the video marketplace with cheap cheap content
(but great subscription revenue for them). They have already successfully decimated the
industries previous prices (getting other people to follow in the subscription battle/revenue
war), with contributors as the casualties.

Not that I think they will be hurting any time soon (they have such a HUGE library, they can now
auto-pilot it for at least 10-15 years making $30+ million/year in profit, with pretty much no effort.
The effort is logging in to your bank account and saying 'oh cool, I made $30 million this year!!).

I hope contributors are smart enough not to panic and think 'oh-oh, I better get into the MICRO pennies program!'.

I'm pretty sure everyone who "applies" will be "accepted", but that the "application" process was part
of a ploy to give a sense of "importance" to this micropennies program.

So, I guess good for them.

It's funny... I'm thinking (& in a way, seems quite possible it could come this way)...

Videoblocks/Storyblocks has gone from...

- 100% Commissions to Authors!
- We buy your good clips, so you have crap left to sell, but still get 100%
- 50% Commission to Authors!
- $0.00000000001/clip Commission to Authors, but you get LOTS of it!

To............. next step/e-mail probably will be something like this:

"Hey Authors!


We'll keep all the money from our subscriptions and value you add to our subscription model - because of course we have to eat, pay for fuel for our lambourghini's & mcclarens, which hopefully you understand costs money - but you'll get... EXPOSURE!!! JUST give your clips for free... Freee... FREEEEEEEEEE!!! Think of the POSSIBILITIES! And we've done the math, and its best for you - so anticipated your response - we've already made your clips available for FREE!!! If you want to opt-out, there is a 90-day new waiting period, and you can only remove 10% of your portfolio at a time... oh, and our script for removing stuff is broken, because there is a coding error, don't know why... so strange, we'll get it fixed, might take 3-4 years, but we'll give your clips FREE in the meantime, that's why we need the money... but FREEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!! AND EXPOSURE FOR YOU!!!!!!!!!! SUCH A GREAT GRAND DEAL AIN'T IT?!?!?"

- The StoryBlocks Team - now making $50 million/year to the owner + a handful of employees because this is a digital business, but helping YOU get EXPOSURE!!!!!!!! Because WE know what's BEST for YOU!

First, if anyone forgot - storyblocks/videoblocks already proved to be dishonest. They promised "100% earnings for authors" - then only a couple years later - said "meh, we only feel like doing 50-50". So remember that.

Moving on. Reading a few posts - seemed a couple people weren't sure about the math - so decided to make this post. Just in case anyone missed this -

POINT #1 - 60% is NOT of their TOTAL revenue, but rather an ARBITRARY random number they pick out of thin air

the "membership pool" is NOT "60%" of storyblocks ENTIRE membership base. They make about $30 million+ year.
It is NOT a portion of that.

RATHER. It is some arbitrary number they pick out of the air to decide what to split amongst authors. RIGHT in their text, it says:
"Instead of members paying for clips a la carte in the Marketplace, they pay for a subscription to access content in our Member Library. We then create a Member Library Earnings pool, which we divide among all contributors who participate in the program based on how much of their content is downloaded."

So out of that $30 million, maybe they pick $50,000 to split amonst all authors. Maybe less. Maybe more. Chances are - they are
will use simple math to figure out what is the bare minimum they can pay people to get them to participate. But its REALLY important
to note, the 60% is NOT part of that "$30 million" in revenue.

POINT #2 - Test market versus ACTUAL market

Their "test" market, and the actual number of users that participate will see COMPLETELY different earnings.

Using easy to understand numbers, Let's say, they've decided to be ultra greedy (proven), and ultra cheap, to split $50,000
amongst authors.

In the test group, they have 10 people. Site wide (educated guess) - they have 10,000+ contributors.

In the test: $50,000/10 = $5,000 per author. (for simplicity, assuming everyone had an equal # of downloads, so equal pay).

Let's say only 10% of the 10,000 contributors sign up (1000 authors).

Now, $50,000/1000 = $50 per author.

But wait! There is more! They have decided only 60% of those funds will be distributed. (Maybe for internal accounting, they've
decided they need a 40%'management' fee for the arbitrary pool funds they set). So $50 * 60% = $30/author.

ANDDDDDDD... of course, if they "feel" it is too little, or too much, they can of course at ANY time adjust the member amount.

POINT #3 - Canabalizing your other sales (maybe a TINY bit more money @ storyblocks - but a LOT LESS everywhere else)

It's already been happening for quite sometime when subscription type models were introduced - but why help storyblocks speed
up the process?

IF they actual did become "THE" "go-to" place for video (they alreayd have a HUGE membership of 150,000+ - but there are still
people on other sites like shutterstock/pond5/etc). But if you take your GOOD videos - and upload here - many will migrate
FROM pond5/shutterstock/etc - and just go to storyblocks/videoblocks. So that means 'byebye' larger sales @ pond5/shutterstock,etc
and welcome to $0.000000000000000001 sales @ storyblocks!

POINT #4 - More of your "stolen" content on the web

It's one thing for someone to "individually" pay $25/clip - and then "resell" it on the web. It's a lot of work, plus costs money.

BUT - if you like the idea of your ENTIRE PORTFOLIO being RESOLD by random individuals on the internet, or given away for free
as "warez" - then this is the way to go! Many individuals have something called "scrapers" - which basically download 1000's and
1000's of clips in hours, or even minutes - and then allows them to re-package it on the web.

And not only will it be incredibly difficult for you to control that, but it will most likely affect ANY kind of LONG term sales you COULD
have had...


c) "optionally" tell storyblocks what a crappy deal this is and you don't like it. (Unlikely they care, because they didn't last time
people complained. And they might even decide to terminate your account, because they don't like complainers. But, if it makes you feel better, you can).


IF you are thinking about making your content unlimited for storyblocks - DON'T.



I'd say videoblocks (aka storyblocks) was probably one of *the* first companies to really make a big push for the subscription based
model of content back in I think it was around 2011/2012... In an environment where companies where charging 'per clip'.

They very quickly (within a couple years) grew to $30+ million in revenue... Other companies started introducing "their" subscription models - which meant a lot less sales for the majority of authors.

Then in 2015, introduced the 'membership' program - where basically they'd purchase any clips that sold to add to their library (no risk for them, but massive sales data) - and pay the author a token amount...

Then when that was exhausted - have now decided to go for "unlimited" downloads! And give you a "percentage" cut of
the number of downloads you get...

The "pilot" program they say was successful... May very well have been, I mean 3x earnings of virtually nothing, is still something...
and for a tiny test group - splitting earnings amongst "them" would skew the results so they could "honestly" say that they
saw "3x" earnings (assuming they are being honest about that in the first place)...

But now, if you get people jumping on the bandwagon, which they will - desperate to make sales - videoblocks library overnight
grows by 100x (quite possibly 1000x, 10000x, I am not sure how tiny their test group was, but I do know there are a LOT
of authors signed up)... makes VIDEOBLOCKS tons of cash because they market themselves as "the" place to get CHEAP CHEAP

but now you make even LESS than you did before - because earnings are now are split 100, 1000, 10000x amongst the test
group (and subscribers are not going to download 1000x the clips they did before)...

So this is a REALLY CRAPPY deal for authors... only people that are really benefiting is storyblocks...

Which, of course - puts pressure on the other agencies to make knee jerk reaction moves (i.e., they see a cut of their sales being
eaten at - figure out its videoblocks/storyblocks - so then THEY introduce THEIR "unlimited subscription model") - and voila.

NOT MENTION..........

If you like having your content upload on "warez" sites, other people "re-packaging" your content and selling it - then this is the precisely the type of thing that will most likely happen when you do. (i.e., motionarray which "forced" people to go unlimited downloads now regularly sends out "dmca" notices because of people reselling/repackaging content.... they sometimes even brag "we sent out 2,000+ notices just recently"... "2000"??? do you REALLY want your content being given FREE or for RESALE by others on 2,000+ sites???)

$0.0001 sales for you!

SO........... IF you are thinking about making your content unlimited for storyblocks - DON'T.



thought I'd just post some thoughts here...

if footage was "truly" exclusive and desirable, and pond5 reached out to outlets that desired this truly exclusive footage - i.e., what the authors submitted was very difficult to obtain else where and news footage firms wanted, say:
- semi/private meetings with celebrities, politicians
- special exclusive news coverage (i.e., building the wall, border crossings, natural disasters, rescue missions, etc)
- in action military footage, on the ground with soldiers, etc
- close up shots of exotic animals in various habitats
- unique shots (i.e., FPV) of say an eagle flying over mountains from the eagle's perspective
- unique computer graphic simulations/animations/etc (i.e., tech, space, medical, etc, etc)

AND... pond 5 had an in/did some heavy promotions with the news outlets, advertisting agencies, firms, with this footage...
AND... pond 5 priced it accordingly (i.e., say $1000/clip or higher)...

THEN... I think the exclusive would be an awesome idea...

But when you have the exact same footage being submitted as non exclusive, and stuff like:
- a video of your foot doing nothing
- a chipmunk with half its body cut off eating nuts
- a video of a tree on an overcast day shot with a low end camera

and as far as I can tell - the only thing pond5 is doing to promote 'exclusive' content is:

a) A watermark that says "exclusive" on it (can't even 'filter' exclusive clips any more - I think that option was available for 1 week or so, I seem to remember being able to do that)
b) Since you've now agreed "not" to sell the clip elsewhere - contacting 2-3 other agencies (i.e., adobe stock) just agreeing to list your clip there (i.e., submitting your clip on your behalf).

and oh, that's about it...

doesn't seem like such a hot deal...

Your thoughts?

General Stock Discussion / pond5 sales plummet to $0?
« on: April 21, 2019, 00:01 »
not sure if it is because I voiced an opinion along with many others (I was quite polite, I know others were a bit 'agitated')...

but - has anyone else seen their pond5 sales plummet to $0 since last month? they were consistently producing at least a few hundred $$$... but $0, strange...

I think I have cracked the code to determine what really is "good news"... (this post is a bit tongue in cheek).

If a site says they have "Good News!", its good news for them, but not for you.

If a site has "Great News!", then it really is good news for you.

Just received a payment notifcation from shutterstock, telling me they had "Great News!". And it really was great, I am going to get paid. :D So that really is good news!

Code: [Select]
Great news!

Your latest payment has been calculated and will be paid out later this month.

Total Payment: ----- (To be paid by 2019-05-15)

Curious - for anyone that was actually submitting images in 2008/2009...

What was the income like then? I know right now it is often $0.30-$1/image... But what was it like then? Were you getting regular $200 sales/image, so maybe $5k/month in sales? Or..... what?

EDIT: Now that I realized some people are also replying about "RPD" - I am also curious as to sales volume/portfolio sizes. I.e., say you had 1000 images, how much would you have made $$$ wise say in 2005, 2010, 2015, etc? Thanks!

While most people seem to agree that non-exclusive account is better, there are a few that believe exclusive with Pond5 would be great. While of course it is your decision what you want to do - the expression "Those that don't learn from history are doomed to repeat it" comes to mind... (immediate example is iStock, but there are many other agencies with their "good news!" e-mail broadcasts)...

Again, if you are thinking "soley" exclusive (i.e., Pond5 is your ONLY agency you have content on)...

a) You are placing a lot of trust in putting your livelihood in someone else's hands. Pond5 has just proven they will break that trust - so - there is nothing to stop them from breaking that trust if you go exclusive. 60% - but - maybe once they start getting sales, they'll get greedy - and you'll get another "good news" e-mail from them, telling you you only get 40%, or maybe 30%, due to hyperbole such as "market conditions" or "competition", etc, etc. So don't trust that you will get 60% forever, or even a long time.

b) Expression "don't put all your eggs in one basket" really holds true. Again - you are trusting that they have *your* best interests at heart, they don't. They have theirs. What happens if the relationship goes sour? Then you are screwed - your *one* income source now doesn't exist. Yes, of course at that point you could then scramble and start uploading to other agencies - but it would most likely be incredibly stressful the 1-2 month time period while you go to establish yourself on other agencies.

c) You are not likely to see the 'huge' boost in sales you are hoping. Educated guess - yes - you probably will see a 50%-100% increase in your sales @ 60% because of some additional marketing in this area, that will probably taper off after 5-6 months to about 20-30%. But - does that additional 20-30% increase justify putting all your eggs in one basket, and the income on other sites you will be foregoing?

Going "exclusive" - you are giving Pond5 the power to decide your income. You are letting THEM decide how successful your portfolio is. Be aware of that.

My educated guess is some contributors that have HUGE portfolios/staff/etc (because they are already making $500k+/year) - will create exclusive portfolios and will benefit from that marketing (the cost for them to 'test' out that sales channel will be small because they benefit from their existing current market position, and the marginal cost for them to create 'exclusive' content at the same time is virtually non existant). They'll just churn out a ton of content in addition to the regular content they produce. So you'll be competing with them.

It's your decision if you go exclusive - but - just be aware - IF you will ONLY be producing content to submit to Pond5:
- You are severely reducing your bargaining power.
- Pond5 has already broken the trust moving comissions from 50% to 40%, nothing to prevent them from changing this "shiny" exclusive % to say 50, 40, etc in the future.
- Overall - you are likely to see less income only having one income source, as opposed to taking the time to submit to multiple agencies.

If you do go exclusive, good luck!

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