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Messages - somethingpretentious

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If a subscriber uses half of the downloads allowed, the commission paid out to contributors from this subscriber will be half of the numbers posted by Shutterstock.
So in this case, if you are at tier 1 you will receive 7.5%, and if you are tier 6 you will receive 20%.
I think you are misleading : the percentages are fixed (they are what SS says they are) BUT it is the price per file which varies whether the subscription is used in its entirety or not. That's the tricky point !

I don't think it is misleading at all. You will be receiving 7.5% in any meaningful way. What is misleading is saying we will receive 15%.

Otherwise what would 100% constitute? How can we be receiving 15% if for example SS is receiving 13X (roughly in the above example) what we receive? It makes no sense and is just smoke and mirrors.

That's why a core demand has to be that % must mean percentage of what has actually been paid for that license or everything else goes out of the window. We wont even have a foundation to negotiate from and packages can be manipulate to s**ew us on an ongoing basis.

That and the January reset has to go. For top tier contributor that will mean a more than 50% pay cut from December to January. Honestly that can only have been though up by millionaires who have no idea how we peons survive in the real world.

I really believe this is important to understand: The real commission percentages are not fixed even though most contributors talk about them as if they were. Here is an example to illustrate this point:

A client buys a subscription for 199$ per month that allows up to 350 image downloads per month. That is 2388 $ per year, with up to 4200 image downloads allowed.

Consider case 1 where this client uses all downloads. The client has in this case paid 0.57$ per image. At tier 1, 15% would give the contributor 0.085$ per image. But since Shutterstock has set a minimum of 0.10$ pr image you will actually be getting 18% at tier 1. At tier 6, 40% results in 0.23$ pr image download for the contributor.

Now consider case 2 where this client only downloaded 10% of the maximum allowed images. The client has in this case paid 5.69 $ per image. At tier 1, if the commission was truly 15%, contributors should receive 0.85$ per image download on average. At tier 6, 40%, the contributors should receive 2.27$ per image download on average. But this is not how the contributors will be compensated in this case. Instead they will be paid exactly the same amount as in case 1, resulting in an effective average real commission percentage of 0.10/5.69 = 1.8% at tier 1 and 0.23/5.69  = 4% real commission percentage at tier 6.

The truth is that the average probably is somewhere between case 1 and case 2.

Subscriptions are, from a revenue perspective, designed in a way that takes into account that the average client does not download the full amount allowed. Why are we pretending that they do when calculating and talking about contributor commissions? Agencies with this type of commission model have an incentive to push clients towards the products with the largest difference between maximum allowed downloads and actual downloads used by the clients. This way, the agency will pay a lower real commission percentage to the contributor. In practice, this means pushing clients away from smaller image packages and towards larger subscriptions. 

The table may be a fine way to explain how the commissions are calculated, but the percentages at each tier simply does not represent the real commission percentage contributors will receive. This is a fact. Contributors will receive less in commission than the numbers in the table indicate. I dont see how this can be up for debate.

2 / Re: Shutterstock just became iStock 2.0
« on: May 29, 2020, 23:57 »
Why are almost everybody accepting Shutterstocks narrative when talking about the new commission structure?

The commission numbers in the table posted by Shutterstock are simply not true, and yet we all talk about them as if they were true. Well, they are not, they are lower!

This is due to the fact that most clients do not download the maximum amount allowed in the subscription. This is especially true for the larger subscription packages.
If a subscriber uses half of the downloads allowed, the commission paid out to contributors from this subscriber will be half of the numbers posted by Shutterstock.
So in this case, if you are at tier 1 you will receive 7.5%, and if you are tier 6 you will receive 20%.

Shutterstock knows the average % of downloads used for all their packages and subscriptions and they would be able to provide the contributors with the real average commissions for each tier.

Don't contributors have a right to know the real commission?

I suggest we do not buy into their narrative and stop saying things like contributors are getting 15% at tier 1 and 40% at tier 6 when this is in fact not true. I suggest we instead say contributors are getting 0-15% at tier 1 and 0-40% at tier 6, as this is true.

Stocksy / Re: Call To Artists is Open!
« on: March 27, 2018, 15:20 »
just to say...applied to cavan images at 3 o'clock they send me acceptance mail after 2 hours and contract.
i know cavan images is not as successful or looked for by photographers as stocksy but if thy can in 2 hours..

let's upload something there and see if they sell something.

As I understand Cavan, they are just going to distribute your files on other agencies, dramatically reducing your earnings - why would anyone do that? Hardly comparable to Stocksy.
Please correct me, if I am wrong.

Rookies got to pay their dues so that OGs get paid better, just like in any business.

Seems like the manipulation worked on you, if that is your take on this...We will all get paid less, even the top tier contributors.

General Stock Discussion / Re: Which gender sells more in general?
« on: November 27, 2015, 21:40 »
Based on average RPI for new files, I would say transgender is best selling right now. Transgender moose, of course, is the key to financial independence.

6 / Re: just started with istock
« on: November 22, 2015, 19:40 »
If I include Istock subscription and Istock partner subscriptions (thinkstock) my RPD for istock is much lower than my RPD on Shutterstock. Istock used to have much higher RPD but right now it is one of the absolute lowest in the industry.

7 / Re: just started with istock
« on: November 22, 2015, 19:29 »
I disagree, you can expect a lot lower RPI (return pr image) compared to Shutterstock and likely also lower RPD (return pr download).

8 / Re: Large image previews on SS ?
« on: October 21, 2015, 11:13 »
That watermark is an absolute joke. It is almost like they do not know what they are doing. I would not expect this kind of mistake from them.


Up sizing is not accepted by most agencies.

Super Image Market / Re: Upload photos and get PAYMENT
« on: July 24, 2015, 21:57 »
The storage fee is just completely weird. It makes it hard to take you serious.

General Stock Discussion / Re: 500px - I'm confused
« on: July 23, 2015, 14:27 »
Please make the photo sharing community part optional. You will likely miss out on some top photographers if you do not.

Illustration - General / Re: Colourbox??
« on: June 13, 2015, 11:45 »
Horrible commissions. Low sales. Bad conditions overall. Most top contributors do no contribute to them and that is for a good reason. It is NOT a well respected agency by most accounts.

Pond5 / Re: Pond5 Introduces: Automatic Keyword Tagging
« on: May 06, 2015, 16:05 »
I think you are going to have a tremendous amount of keyword spam making your search worse.

A lot of the generated keywords are not relevant. So far I have not found it useful at all and at this stage I doubt any serious stock contributors will use it.

But I definitely like the idea:)

Adobe Stock / Re: Fotalia re-design!
« on: May 03, 2015, 01:38 »
... there s no "object" as category ??!!!!

No, but they now have the long awaited category "risotto"... 

Canva / Re: Canva
« on: April 29, 2015, 14:12 »
Why not 35% commission on subscriptions instead of 35 cents? What is the reason contributors should not also get 35% on subscriptions?

Pond5 / Re: Pond5: What should we improve?
« on: April 15, 2015, 19:47 »
I think the automatic keywording is very bad idea. Search is everything in Stock today and the automatic keywording will introduce a lot of bad keywords and that will hurt the search.

Yay micro has a similar service. I really dislike how both Yay micro and now StockUnlimited are referring to Netflix and Spotify when talking about their business model. It is not at all the same:

The Netflix and Spotify model is Business to Consumer
StockUnlimited and Yays model is Business to Business

An advertising agency cannot download a song on sportify and use it in a world wide advertising campaign. The comparison is ridiculous.

19 / Re: It just got worse free video
« on: February 13, 2015, 11:02 »
Thanks KB - had not seen that. Yes, that "new market" fairy tale have been told by agencies more than once. Do they really expect us to believe that BS (not short for Bigstock) ?

20 / Re: It just got worse free video
« on: February 13, 2015, 10:11 »
Shutterstock owes all their video contributors an explanation to these obscene video prices at Bigstock! What on earth is going on Shutterstock?

This is very different from the iStock/google drive deal. It is a lot worse for the contributor. In the Dreamstime/google deal, an unlimited amount of end users can use our images for advertising purposes and all you get is 2 dollars. No one should ever accept this.

22 / Re: Exciting news from Shutterstock HQ!
« on: January 15, 2015, 12:02 »
This is a forum for contributors, not Shutterstock shareholders. How is this exciting news for contributors?

If you have not done it already, ask all the agencies that represents your work if they will be willing to donate. Explain the principal nature of the case and ask for a phone call with the higher-ups in the different agencies. I would not bet on it, but a phone call and asking directly would certainly increase your chances.

good luck!

Canva / Re: Canva
« on: October 21, 2014, 22:58 »
Canva is doing a lot of new things - micro rights managed, buyer never gets our files, and design in the browser. I'm willing to cut them a fair bit of slack to see if this can fly

50% is meaningless in the absence of some context

But there is plenty of context here! And yes, Canva is doing a lot of very interesting things, but you should still be payed at least 50% when they sell your IP.

The fact that the license is only valid for one time is a great thing, but it is certainly not an argument that Canva should keep 65% from selling your images.

Its really sad that we are now so used to getting screwed with low commissions that there are actually contributors defending 35%.

Canva / Re: Canva
« on: October 21, 2014, 01:59 »
It really bothers me that not many here is complaining about the commission rate, so I will do it:

Lee how would you argue for such a low commission of just 35%? Don't you think 50% should be minimum in this industry?

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