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Messages - Nico

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It sounds interesting. I have never used analytical software before. How do you get data from agencies? Is it accurate? I have difficulties to copy data from Dreamstime and Adobe Stock.

Adobe Stock / Re: Time for a redesign?
« on: April 07, 2022, 02:59 »
Out of all the stock site submission pages I use, it is in my view that Adobe Stock's submission page is one of the most poorly designed. The whole process of having to spend an age re-arranging the keywords in order of popularity - of which you have to scroll up and down the page constantly,  is unnecessarily cumbersome and time-consuming.

Whilst Shutterstock have many faults, they have a submission page that enables you to submit images far faster and easiest than Adobe's submission page.

At the beginning I was very frustrated with the poor keyword ordering interface too! But now I write the top ten keywords in order of importance in Photoshop, as this is useful for a couple of stock websites.

Now, I find the Adobe Stock submission process one of the fastest and easiest of all agencies.

Shutterstock.com / Re: Sale have stopped?
« on: March 10, 2022, 02:25 »
Have others experienced that sales on Shutterstock have almost stalled?

I am experiencing a significant drop since March 4th. Basically, sales volumes remain more or less the same, but no more large individual sales (special single and others, enhanced, video) which were making more than a third of my revenues.

My crystal ball has taken early retirement, but I'm guessing that this will just increase the number of 10 cent minimum royalty amounts for all levels of contributors while dropping a larger percentage of the monthly fee going into Shutterstock's pocket.

By tracking average revenue per download we should be able to see that.

So far, my average RPD for images dropped from $.75 before June 2020 to $.72 after June 2020 (Lvl 6). Seems like it will only go down from now on...

Hi all,

A shower thought: the recent decrease of contributors' royalties on Shutterstock was partly possible from SS's point of view because they know that many contributors cannot delete their portfolio there, SS's earnings being a large percentage of their monthly earnings.

Why this happened?

As a contributor, I was uploading my content mostly to the top tier agencies, thinking that uploading to middle tier agencies was a waste of time.

Actually I was wrong: by doing so, I was putting all the power to 3-4 agencies, because they were the only ones to get fresh content, hence being able to attract more customers and then more contributors.

This empowering wheel (uploading to top tier agencies > top tier agencies getting more customers > top tier agencies selling more > top tier agencies attracting even more contributors compared to middle-tier agencies) made a few agencies have the power to decide what the contributors should earn.

Of course, it's not the only factor contributing to an agency's success (their commercial team, quality of search engine, distribution network and agreements, ...) are also very important.

If I upload to more middle-tier agencies, I give the chance to more market share, and thus less power in the arms of a single agency...

Sounds basic and logical, but it's only recently that I'm really aware of it.

Illustration - General / Re: New Ai script for isometry lovers
« on: October 21, 2020, 13:34 »
Hey, thanks for this script!

What happened to free? Seems to be all the rage now.

I don't know what you mean? I found the free version there: https://mai-tools.com/free-magic-isometry after signing up for the newsletter.

If your copyright name is unique, you can also search with it. Some places mention the copyright name, some only the agency, and some nothing at all  :'(

Thanks for this forum thread. I think the RPD is the only data that makes sense monitoring.

My previous RPD - Lifetime average:

Current RPD (June 1-4 sample):

Some comment here:
(images only)
Lifetime RPD on Adobe Stock: 1.06
Lifetime RPD on iStock: $0.63

So SS is becoming similar to iStock, which has the lowest RPD of all stocks...

In my case, RPD si going down (-20 %) but the amount of downloads has increased. It even seems I may achieve one of my best results this month (hard to say after 4 days but it is relatively good so far). I am at Level 4 in the new system. Frustrated by a lot of $0.10-$0.14 sales but satisfied with increase of sales (so far). It is not so bad as I have got few sales with expensive subscriptions ($0.59, $0.87, $0.95 commissions from subscription are much better than previous $0.36 but you know, it does not happen very often).

Glad you have more downloads, but in theory this has nothing to do with the new earning structure on SS because it only apply to the contributor side and is totally transparent for buyers.

Edit: Corrected RPD (had error in calculation)

Yes I pay taxes for my stock income for many reasons:

- It allows me to send the income to my main bank account, and eventually buy car, real estate...
- I get health insurance and retirement plan
- I don't want to end up in jail or with big fines
- Entities (banks, states, ...) exchange more and more data, and tax offices can look up many years backward to find some hidden income (5 to 10 years backward in my country), so you are never safe if you hide income
- I help develop my country (better schools, better heath system, safer roads, ...)

Pour les formulaires de taxe, pas besoin de SIRET. De mmoire, il y a juste iStock qui demande absolument un EIN ou ITIN, et comme aucun ITIN n'est fourni par la France, il faut faire la demande d'un EIN par un formulaire SS4 l'IRS amricain (gratuit, prend qq semaines). Mais cette info est un peu vieille, peut-tre que les choses ont chang.

Pour les organismes de payment, j'utilise PayPal. Il n'y a pas de frais d'entre/sortie d'argent, par contre frais de conversion de devise de 3 ou 3,5% il me semble (c'tait 2,5% avant mais ils ont augment...). comparer avec les autres solutions proposes...

Ok, en effet ton statut est assez diffrent.

Ce qui me passe par la tte :

- Les ventes sur banques d'images sont un peu mi-chemin entre plusieurs statuts en France. Nanmoins le statut le plus proche est auteur-photographe en BNC. C'est aussi le plus avantageux en termes de cotisations sociales. L'AGESSA qui collectait les cotisations sociales pour la scu (les auteurs font partie du rgime gnral), a t remplace par l'URSSAF Limousin partir de cette anne. Nanmoins l'AGESSA continue de dcider si la personne rentre bien dans les cases du statut auteur-photographe. En ce qui me concerne, l'AGESSA a accept sans problme de me mettre dans cette case, preuve qu'ils nous considrent bien comme auteur-photographe, mme si l'on vend de trs nombreuses fois la mme photo. Dans ce cas, les ventes correspondent des "royalties" (c'est la banque d'image qui vend, pas toi directement).

- Si tes recettes sur les banques d'images ne sont pas trs importantes, et que personne ne t'embte avec ce statut, c'est peut-tre mieux de rester comme tu es car c'est sans doute plus simple grer. Par contre si tes recettes sur les banques d'images sont importantes, il pourrait tre intressant de scinder tes deux activits : auteur BNC d'un ct et vendeur en BIC de l'autre ct pour payer le moins de cotisations possibles.

- En tant qu'auteur ou auto-entrepreneur (qui sont tous les deux des Entreprises Individuelles de toute faon), la TVA s'active ou non en fonction d'un seuil de chiffre d'affaire (autour de 40K si je me rappelle bien). Mais avec les banques d'images qui sont l'tranger, on n'a pas collecter la TVA, donc a tombe bien (puisque de toute faon on ne peut pas modifier nos prix pour que ce soit le client qui paye la TVA comme a devrait normalement tre le cas). Par contre, on peut se faire rembourser la TVA sur nos achats ! En ce qui me concerne, je reois tous les ans ou tous les 2 ans un virement des impts pour me rembourser la TVA :) Par contre qui dit TVA, dit comptabilit.

- Au niveau des factures, je crois que dans n'importe quelle activit professionnelle, il est obligatoire de faire des factures en B2B (business to business), quel que soit le montant. Vrifie 2 fois si besoin, car ne pas faire de factures, c'est s'exposer de lourdes amendes (c'est la base de la comptabilit les factures, donc l'endroit le plus critique pour luter contre la fraude, d'o les fortes pnalits).

Je suis aussi un peu perdu avec tout ce labyrinthe administratif... dire que dans certains pays, les revenus de banques d'images sont classs en salaires tout simplement et il n'y a rien d'autre faire...  :'(

Bonjour tous,

Dans l'avion aussi. J'habite en France, et je fais du stock depuis 2013. La concurrence s'est beaucoup accrue depuis quelques annes, mais a fonctionne encore pour le moment.

a permet quand mme d'avoir un super niveau de libert (pas d'horaires, pas de trajets maison-boulot, pas de deadlines, pas de sujet impos). J'espre que a continuera encore quelques temps !


Il manque un peu de contexte pour rpondre exactement (dclarer o ? quel formulaire faites vous rfrence ?)

De faon gnrale voici le droul pour tre compltement en rgle :

1/ Dclarer son activit en envoyant le formulaire P0i cerfa_11921-03 au CFE (Centre de Formalit des Entreprises) en renseignant comme activit : auteur-photographe (BNC) dpendant de l'AGESSA code d'activit 90.03B - autre cration artistique

2/ Crer un compte bancaire ddi cette activit professionnelle (un compte de dpt habituel suffit, pas besoin des comptes "pro")

3/ chaque paiement reu par les banques d'image, crer une facture "pro-format" (c'est--dire qu'elle n'a pas d'usage relle, mais ncessaire pour la comptabilit) sous la forme d'une note d'auteur. Attention bien inclure toutes les mentions obligatoires (se faire aider par un comptable si besoin, par exemple pour justifier le non redevance de la TVA et pour les conversions USD/EUR).

4/ Dclarer son activit l'AGESSA/URSSAF pour cotiser la scurit sociale (obligatoire selon le bnfice dgag), et l'IRCEC RAAP pour la retraite complmentaire (obligatoire selon le bnfice dgag)

5/ Mettre en place une comptabilit. ce stade, le compte de recettes que j'utilise pour enregistrer les revenus issus des banques d'image est 751600 Droits d'auteur et de reproduction.

6/ Selon ses bnfices, adhrer une association de gestion agre ou utiliser un comptable pour viter la majoration de l'impt de 25%.

7/ Dclarer ses bnfices en tant que Revenus non commerciaux professionnels sur le formulaire 2042 C PRO de la dclaration d'impt sur le revenu.

iStockPhoto.com / Re: Latest DeepMeta 3
« on: April 05, 2019, 04:01 »
Thank you Franky, DM is working well again on mac with the last update  :)

Video look differs between browsers, stock sites, media players etc. Different video levels (0-255, 16-235), different gammas (2.2, 2.35, 2.4), different decoding algorythms. Each and every one generates previews in an unique way. A particular browser may be ICC enabled, others may not. Stock sites may convert lets say the rec709 @2.4 gamma video you've just uploaded to srgb @ 2.2. Sadly we can't do anything about it. Just be sure to grade the footage on a calibrated system which should be a good middleground between all of that nastyness buyers have to deal with on stock sites.

I didn't know that different players may use different settings/encoding algorithms to display videos. Thank you for pointing this out, I've learned something today, and it might pretty well explain the reason of my issue.

Hi all,
I've recently noticed that my videos look darker on microstock websites (at least on Shutterstock and Adobe) than on my computer.

I mean, if I put side by side on my screen, the video on the microstock website, and my local file preview on the computer, I can notice a slight difference in brightness between the two.

It's an issue, because I expose the video correctly on my computer, and then it looks underexposed on the microstock websites.

I have no clue what is causing that. I would not be surprised if it's a color space thing (like uploading a photo in Adobe RGB on microstock makes it look different because of the conversion to sRGB).

Here's my technical environment:

- Video from Canon DSLR or DJI drone (in .MOV or .MP4 - I've noticed the problem with both file formats)
Canon DSLR video settings:
- Picture style: standard
- Full HD 29.97 fps ALL-I

- Post-treatment in Premiere Pro (always up to date version)
- Computer: MacBook Pro with Display Profile: Colour LCD (default setting)
- Export settings (I don't know which ones are relevant in this case, they are basically default settings):

Format: H.264
File extension: .MP4
Basic video settings:
- Field Order: Progressive
- TV standard: NTSC
- Render at Maximum Depth: Unchecked
Encoding settings:
- Performance: Software Encoding
- Profile: Main
- Level: 4.1
- Rec. 2020 Color Primaries: Unchecked
- High Dynamic Range: Unchecked
Bitrate settings:
- Bitrate Encoding: VBR, 1 pass
- Target Bitrate: 50 Mbps (HD video)
- Maximum Bitrate: 50 Mbps
..... cannot find any color space setting. From what I read on Internet, Premiere Pro maintains the color space of the original file.

Have you experienced something similar? What can cause this?

I believe this position is based on the all time earnings.

On Fotolia, both the all time position and the weekly position were displayed. The one on Adobe is closer to my all time earning position.

The new features are very nice, it's great to have to possibility to download the activity as CSV :D

But there is a small bug on the activity CSV export: only the currently viewed page (~ 50 lines) is exported, instead of the full data.

It's normal to have pagination for the browser view, but export is usually expected to be on the whole data.

OK, so according to French customs, I should fill a form when I receive a payment from Pond5 Ireland, even if the headquarters are in the US. It's the country of origin of the transaction which is important.

I don't need to pay any VAT, it's Pond5 (the buyer of the service) which has this responsibility in the EU VAT system, according to local rates in its country. This form (compulsory) help ensure that there is no hidden transactions.

In France, the form is a DES (Dclaration Europenne de Service), found on https://pro.douane.gouv.fr.

I don't know how it applies in other EU countries. But it looks like royalties or author rights are generally considered similar to "services" (as opposed to "goods") in a VAT perspective. Check your national laws.

I'm also having the same questions about Pond5.

In France, according to the tax law, "royalties" are considered in the category of "services" for VAT.

In the EU, when a company (here Pond5) buys a service from another company located in another EU country (here the contributor), it's the buyer (Pond5) which should pay VAT according to the relevant tax rate in its country. The seller (contributor) should write the gross price (without tax) on the invoice, and mention that the other company is responsible for paying VAT.

In France (but I imagine in other EU country as well), the seller (contributor) is nevertheless responsible for declaring the service provided to another country to the customs. This declaration is called DES (Dclaration Europenne de Service) in France and is filled on the website https://pro.douane.gouv.fr.

For example, when I receive a payment from Alamy (VAT number GB718294123, which is still in EU at the time...), I write an invoice (which I don't send, but keep in case of control) with the gross price in EUR, and then I fill a DES form to the French customs. It's mandatory, and I can get a fine of 750 per missing declaration if I don't do it.

Now, It's still not clear for me if I need to do the same for Pond5 because they pay me through their Irish office, but their headquarters are in the US. I'll call the customs to clarify.

(It's a bit complicated, but at the end, it's not me who pays VAT, so my income is unchanged, and it's all what matters ;))

General - Top Sites / Re: Life Expectancy of an image
« on: July 16, 2018, 12:02 »

My guess is that this behaviour is coded somewhere in the search algorithm, directly, or indirectly. But it can be only a guess, because those algorithms are never disclosed.

or in the finite size of the market

Well, I think the finite size of the market influences the vertical scale of the lifecycle graph (the volume of downloads), but not its shape (up, then down).

Let's take the example of a landscape photo of London.

The number of downloads per month depends on:
- The number of potential buyers (here is the size of the market, or the demand)
- The number of photos from competitors available on stock (more competition = more offer = less downloads for our photo)

I believe that for a landscape photo of London, the demand is stable or increases.

What could create the up and down shape of the lifecycle is an increase of the competition: the photo becomes online, then it gains popularity during the first months, then the competition becomes stronger, and there are less and less sales for our photo.

However photos after photos, subjects after subjects, I notice a consistent shape of the lifecycle. It cannot be random.  I believe that search algorithms take into account the "age of the photo" to show less the old photos, and provide more turnover, so customers always have fresh content. I imagine the three main criteria in search algorithms are:
- Relevance with the search (the higher the relevance, the higher the position in search results)
- Popularity of the photo (the higher the popularity, the higher the position in search results)
- Age of the photo (the oldest, the lower the position in search results)

New photos are not popular, so we don't sell them that much during the first months.
Then maybe they become popular and sell a lot.
Then they get old, go further in the search results, thus become less popular, and sell less and less

General - Top Sites / Re: Life Expectancy of an image
« on: July 16, 2018, 05:28 »
I read the article, and I think your comment is misleading.

The article is about observations.

But there is nothing in it about "forced" lifecycles.

"Forced" in this context to me means something done deliberately that goes against what would happen normally.

The article doesn't really deal with that.

Yes, you are right, the article only speaks about observations. Sorry if my comment was misleading, it was not my intention. The same for me: I only have my own observations. Stock agencies never speak about lifecycle of images, and we can easily guess that they would not like to.

However those observations show most of the time the same lifecycle. From one image to another one, it is mostly the vertical scale that differs: number of downloads, or popularity of the image. But the shape is the same.

And it is not only on Shutterstock: on Adobe Stock, iStock and Dreamstime, images' lifecycles are quite similar too.

My guess is that this behaviour is coded somewhere in the search algorithm, directly, or indirectly. But it can be only a guess, because those algorithms are never disclosed.

It doesn't mean that old images will not sell anymore, but that, on average, they will sell less at the end of the cycle. On my previous chart, we can see that amount of downloads nowadays is not 0, but nevertheless much less than during the first 6 months.

In my experience, some images don't follow this lifecycle, for example seasonal images (Christmas, summer vacation, ...) behave a bit differently.

General - Top Sites / Re: Life Expectancy of an image
« on: July 14, 2018, 17:49 »
Anyway on stock agencies, images have a "predetermined" or "forced" lifecycle, with a lifespan of about 3 years (http://blog.microstockgroup.com/the-tyranny-of-the-microstock-lifecycle/).

On Shutterstock I noticed that some popular images have an increased lifespan, maybe 4-5 years.

Here is the actual lifecycle of one of my images on Shutterstock. We can clearly see the ramp up phase of 3-6 months at the beginning, and the following constant decline. Almost all my images follow this same pattern on Shutterstock.

Hi Mat,

Thank you for asking the contributor community!

One feature that would be very nice to have is a detailed CSV file with one line per download. This CSV file would be very similar to the "Activity" view:

1 line per download with those rows:
- Date/time (if possible in ISO format)
- Asset ID
- Asset type (photo/vector/video)
- Sale license
- Earnings
- Currency
- (optional: asset upload date)

Currently, I couldn't find the possibility to download such CSV file.

I'm doing some statistics with my own tools, and this CSV file would be the perfect input data for it. It would allow anyone to get any custom made statistics (in Excel or Google spreadsheets, with analytics solutions, ...).

Some agencies, like 123RF, are already proposing a CSV file like this. It would be great to have it "standardized" across agencies, as it is (IMO) the most logical format to allow contributors to reuse statistics the way it fits them the best.

Another nice feature would be to see which keywords were used to download images. This is maybe a bigger step for Adobe Stock as Fotolia was not proposing those stats. However it would be probably one of the most useful feature.

Discussion Franaise / Re: Remboursement de la TVA
« on: June 21, 2018, 05:14 »
Tu as raison, le seuil de TVA pour le remboursement est moins lev que je pensais. Tant mieux !

Pour le logiciel, j'utilise macompta.fr. Il a l'avantage (de mon point de vue) d'tre en ligne, donc toujours jour et fonctionne quel que soit l'ordi. Il fournit des FEC (fichier des critures comptables, obligatoire depuis quelques annes) conformes.

Pour les achats de matriel photo, il faudra que tu les enregistre sous la forme d'immobilisations (faire une fiche d'immobilisation par matriel), qu'il faut amortir en plusieurs annes (3 5 ans, pour ma part je n'ai jamais eu de remarque en mettant 3 ans). Il y a une option 2 par mois pour faire les immobilisations sur macompta.fr. Pour ma part je fais des fiches PDF et enregistre les amortissements la main dans le logiciel de compta.

Il faut aussi que tu aies un compte bancaire ddi ton activit (pas besoin de compte "pro" qui n'est qu'une appellation commerciale des banques et ne correspond aucune obligation lgale, et qui sont souvent trs trs chers). Mais il faut un compte courant bien spar.

D'autre part, si tu utilises PayPal pour te faire payer par les banques d'images, il est de bonne pratique de faire apparaitre PayPal en tant que compte bancaire dans ta comptabilit. Pour ma part j'ai prfr faire apparaitre 3 comptes bancaires dans ma comptabilit : mon compte courant de la banque, mon solde PayPal en USD, et mon solde PayPal en EUR. Dans la comptabilit, j'utilise le compte 580 (virements internes) pour faire apparaitre les virements entre ces comptes.

Pour l'AGA, j'en ai pris une prs de chez moi, mais j'aurais peut-tre plutt du en prendre une spcialise du type APL ARAC ou ARTAGA.

Je ne sais pas s'il existe des prestations d'assistance pour remplir les formulaires fiscaux. Au tout dbut, j'avais cr un compte d'essai gratuit chez macompta.fr avec toutes les options (immobilisations, liasse fiscale, devis, facture, ...), j'ai fait ma comptabilit, puis j'ai export tout ce que je pouvais exporter, y compris la liasse fiscale. Cela m'a permis d'avoir une premire ide de ce qu'il fallait remplir. J'ai ensuite cr mon compte en payant l'abonnement, mais sans prendre les options, et je fais tout manuellement ct.

Sinon tu as aussi la possibilit de payer l'option liasse fiscale. Je crois que c'est 60 /an. Mais tu auras toujours un peu de modifications manuelles faire (par exemple sparer les frais kilomtriques des autres dpenses de missions).

Et a ne fait pas le formulaire AGA (tableau OG BNC, exemple : https://www.cgaprovence.fr/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/tableaux-og-bnc-2018.pdf), pour lesquels on peut trouver quelques aides sur internet avec les mots cls "OG BNC"

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