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Today we welcome Zone Creative to our blog interview series! Zone Creative have been around for a long time and have always shined by their unique and detailed creativity! Enjoy reading how they produce their stock photos and videos and where they see the business going!

https://www.stockperformer.com/blog/interview-series-zone-creative/

2
Very interesting! And thanks a lot for sharing these information.

Thank you!! Glad it was interesting for you!

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It would be interesting, if following strategy would be good or not:

Lets say, we can find out ourselves, which photos we took are better shots and which just usual. For the usual one I would follow the upload ones and go strategy and directly to ALL agencies.
But for the better photos it might be interesting in separate uploads to different agencies?
For example: Upload to Zoonar, Photocase, Alamy first.
After 3 month upload to Adobe, Dreamstime
After another 3 month or much more time upload to 123rf, deposit, iStock, (shitterstock).

Of course we have to have in mind, if that photos already getting unpopular. so it would only work for photos, which will be still popular after a year or so.

I know it is also about how agencies sell!

Interesting strategy! I think it is very difficult to know beforehand which images are going to sell well and which ones aren't. So I wouldn't recommend to separate files into batches where you upload "good" images to all agencies and "average" images in a multi-batch approach.

In our simulation our multi-batch strategy uploaded files every 3 months and even with a boost of 20% revenue, it was still slower than uploading all files at once. Our simulation doesn't make a distinction where you upload the files. It simply looks at the revenue they generate. So whether you upload files to some agencies now, and then to other agencies later, the effect will be the same as in our simulation.

Based on our findings, I would recommend you upload all your files at once to all agencies and let them produce revenue as soon as possible. Even if they produce less revenue per month than spreading them, you will still make money faster which you can reinvest into new batches, thus speeding your overall revenue growth.

Give it a try and let us know!

3

Thanks for your feedback! Let me share my thoughts on your comments

I thought you would actually have data from users who uploaded big batches vs. spreading them out rather than making a bunch of assumptions and modelling off of those assumptions. Information on rejection rates and search algorithm shifts based on upload rates would be very interesting. For example if you don't upload for X amount of time is your portfolio penalized or is it boosted if you upload? Do very large upload batches have higher rejection rates?

We don't share data from individual users per our terms of service, so we cannot publish information on specific batches our customers upload. Also, even if we did use specific batches, it would probably not be meaningful since individual batches are different, have different keywords and different performance. The results would only be meaningful for those specific batches but one would not be able to get an idea how the average batch performs. So our idea was to generate a revenue profile from multiple images and then simulate their performance. Since this is a simulation, you will get an expected behaviour, but it is not a forecast for specific batches in specific themes.

The conclusions of the article can be summarized that generally keeping your files artificially on your hard drive costs you money and those costs need to be compensated by those files which are online, thus reducing the speed at which you reach a break-even point on that specific batch.

Real batches will have different performance, some will produce more revenue, others less, some will get more rejections and others less, but all have in common that if you do not upload your batch in one go, you are basically creating additional costs by having files sitting on your hard drive. And you have to account for that.

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It certainly used to be the case that upload batches either nearly all passed or nearly all failed at some sites(you got a harsh reviewer or an easy reviewer). If a huge batch hit the harsh review and got nearly 100% rejected that would be a big blow. By spreading things out a bit you decreased the chance of everything getting rejected and it would be easier to resubmit the ones that were rejected out of hand.

In our modelling we assumed a 20% rejection for the One-Batch strategy, and it was still faster at generating revenue than the Four-Batch strategy with a 20% revenue boost. So if you have a rejection rate less than 20% on your batches, then you are probably better off uploading all in one go. If you rejection rates are higher, then one would have to model what the effect is.

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One big reason to upload all the images now is because it seems that revenue drops every year - there are less sales for less money and the artist gets a smaller percentage from each sale. So if you could have uploaded everything in 2015 you would have made a lot more than uploading them now.

That is also the risk we see. One cant predict how markets evolve. Sales may go down, RPDs may go down, market demand might change, etc... So keeping your files on your hard drive doesn't only cost you money, it also increases the risk that when you do put them online, they fail at making the expected revenue.

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I figure that as soon as I have an image ready to go it is worth uploading unless there are a few that are nearly identical in which case I might delay some to the next batch or if it is a seasonal image in which case it might be worth waiting a bit. (for example - upload Easter stuff from now to Easter instead of the week after Easter.)

I would recommend always uploading immediately, and if you have similars then let them get rejected. You will still be better off than keeping files artificially on your hard drive. Seasonal images are a different matter. You have to upload them strategically.

4
As written in the article, the revenue profile was averaged from over 20,000 files on different agencies.

The remaining curves are simulations based on that revenue profile.

5
This is probably one of the most important blog articles we've ever written. We really wanted to understand the differences between uploading a set of files in one go versus spread them out over various months, or even years. We put the effort into crunching the numbers and hope the results are useful to you.

Our results are actually not what you would expect. Most people do not follow what we consider to be the better strategy. So have a look and please comment! We are really looking forward to your thoughts!

https://www.stockperformer.com/blog/upload-it-all-in-one-go-vs-spreading-it-out-what-makes-more-money/

6
There are definetly many different ways to run a sustainable stock photo and video business. There are various factors involved.

In the various years that we have been interviewing sustainable producers, we realize that there is no one formula. So whether Kraken's photos are good or bad on some defined scale from 1 to 10 is actually not relevant. What matters is that they set up a business which works and he shares his history in the interview. This information can be useful for some people, but doesn't have to be for everybody.

If you are interested in other business models, which are also sustainable, have a look at the other interviews in the set:
https://www.stockperformer.com/blog/category/interviews/

7
Let me get into the mix. Of course I am biased here, but I think the best way to judge what works for you, is to determine what exactly it is you need.

Stock Performer is designed as a agency-password-free solution to help you get all your upload and sales data in one place. The main goal is to determine what themes and topics work best for you personally (not what works for everybody, but what works for you, your skills and your topics), and then produce more of it and better.

If it helps, I'm happy to join on an one-to-one online demo for you. We can think together about the features that can be good for you and how you can use it to get the most value out of it.

Drop us a line at info at stockperformer dot com!

Luis 

8
Some of you might know Kraken Images as one of the leading and most productive microstock contributors in the world, with over 1 million files on sale.

But we also met Aaron Amat, the CEO, as a super friendly and helpful person who was very open about his business. Thanks Aaron for your time!

This is well worth the read! Enjoy!

https://www.stockperformer.com/blog/interview-series-aaron-amat-from-kraken-images/

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Stock Performer / We're on Instagram Live in 5 minutes!
« on: October 28, 2020, 08:55 »
Join us on instagram in 5 minutes for our Live session! We will be taking questions about Stock Performer and discussing any other interesting topic related to microstock and analytics.

Join us on instagram.com/stockperformer

See you there!

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You are welcome! Steve has been in stock photography for a few decades and has really seen the evolution first hand. Amazingly he has managed to be a great contributor in each of those phases. Impressive!

11
Steve Cole has been a stock contributor before many of today's contributors even owned a camera. We interviewed back in 2013 and we interviewed him again today, to ask him how he thinks the market evolved and how he believes it will move in the future. His insights are invaluable if you want to make a living from stock photography. Enjoy!!

https://www.stockperformer.com/blog/how-did-your-forecast-turn-out-we-ask-steve-cole/

12
Your idea is very good and I will work on a graph and get back to you!

13
yeah, i mean rejecting more files than they used to?

14
But don't you see a trend on SSTK before the corona virus? Isn't it due to stricter acceptance criteria?

15
The trend dates back further than the pandemic. We were told it had to do with changing inspection standards. Less gets accepted.

Does that make sense?

16
We ran the numbers for 2019 and 2020 and realize that the pandemic has impacted contributors and agencies in different ways as we thought. Read here to see the numbers:

https://www.stockperformer.com/blog/are-contributors-uploading-less-since-the-pandemic-started/

What do you think? Is it what you expected?

17
Steve Debenport and his team are one of the world's top stock producers. He told us how he has seen the business evolve, how he has adapted to the current pandemic and how he sees the future. Enjoy the great read!

https://www.stockperformer.com/blog/how-did-your-forecast-turn-out-we-ask-steve-debenport/

18
One of Stock Performers most popular features is to track the profitability of your files. This is very useful if you want to know how profitable a photo session was, a photo trip, a specific model or the files supplied to you by a supplier. We now added two new colors to better distinguish how profitable or not a collection is. Read the details in this article!

https://www.stockperformer.com/blog/new-feature-profit-loss-color-coding/

19
Five years ago we asked top contributor Elnur Amikishiyev how we saw the microstock business evolving. Did he get it right!? We asked him what he thinks of his forecast back then, how he's gone through the coronavirus crisis and how he sees the business evolving in the coming years. Happy reading!!

https://www.stockperformer.com/blog/how-did-your-forecast-turn-out-we-ask-elnur-amikishiyev

20
The results of our survey are out! Thank you to all who participated! You can read about how they estimate the corona virus will affect them here:

https://www.stockperformer.com/blog/how-is-the-corona-virus-affecting-stock-agency-contributors/

Please share your thoughts!

21
That's why we included the question of whether you will be able to maintain your production levels or not. For many people, the corona virus forces them to stay home with kids. So even if they can produce content at home, they might simply not have the time. In that case you can answer the question saying that you will produce less. And that should cover your situation.

Thanks!

22
Slightly strange choice of answers. I.e. how much drop do you expect... none, 30%, 50%? And how much less content will you produce? Surely those who have a full time job... who are now working from home, have reduced hours or have been made unemployed... might be producing slightly more or a lot more content?

Thank you for pointing that out! It is a good point. We had assumed that for most photographers, staying at home would represent a limitation. This is mainly true for stock photographers working with people (lifestyle, sports, business,etc...). But you are right that those working with food, concepts, objects, 3D renders, motions, etc... might have an opportunity to produce more.

Sorry we missed that! We will point it out in our blog post.

Thanks,
Luis

23
We are running a survey to see how the global corona virus is affecting stock contributors. We will be summarizing the results in a blog post and are VERY thankful to all contributors who participate! Feel free to share!!

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSdmf5g0pdDEDvuF7DbDTVNYjcqRSb8qzvSMgookZr0LVB5FVQ/viewform?vc=0&c=0&w=1

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Stock Performer / Re: Interview Series: Kristian Sekulic
« on: March 12, 2020, 16:55 »
Absolutely! A tool is only as good as you use it. Kristian does all the right things, no doubt about it!

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Stock Performer / Re: Interview Series: Kristian Sekulic
« on: March 12, 2020, 08:39 »
Indeed, that image is impressive! Amazing how he gathered 196 models do to that picture! One of the good things about Stock Performer is that you can identify such images quickly and can then better decide how to organize your next shoots to take advantage of those insights. Kristian is a great example of using data to produce as smart as possible!!

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