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Messages - Snow

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At AS my subs are mostly 0.99 these days with lowest 0.38 ($0.41) so always better then the $0.38 (0.35) subs at SS. Sales volume is still lacking though and doesn't keep me motivated enough to continue.

SS is garbage these days. "Controlled earnings" are the two words that come up in my mind every time I look at my stats. They also seem to prefer a certain group of contributors which makes them almost discriminating but then they do as they please. Like many others I also think it is inevitable that AS will take over the throne in the near future.

In the end it doesn't matter anymore who's better, for us it's a no-win situation anyway  :-\

Actually, could be a good thing if contributors are uploading less. The agencies may change their tune if they see that the quantity and quality of new images is decreasing...they know that will ultimately affect their (the agencies) bottom line and they may feel they can't keep giving contributors less and less.

This is already happening but in certain (more expensive) parts of the world which is also a good thing. The quality and quantity of new images will still be there but buyers will have to look elsewhere for unique or location specific content. These agencies think they can keep thriving on cheap contributors. I mean just look at who they promote with trends and such. And who's on top in search. To me it can't get more obvious then this. I have nothing against those contributors but everywhere I look it's Thailand or Ukraine.

People saying "oh it's good leave then more sales for us" or "10 new contributors will replace one old leaving" are totally wrong because you cannot replace unique content.
This is something rarely mentioned but most important to me. Each individual has their own experience, culture, style, expression, etc... which cannot be replaced even by a thousand others.

Our main problem is we get hooked to creating and uploading to these places even though our earnings are declining. The more we upload the less we earn these days which makes sense. If we can get over that and move on for the time being then things might change more rapidly.

Pond5 / Re: Pricing multi agency appearing clips
« on: February 26, 2020, 06:13 »
Isn't SS $179 for 4K? That's the standard price I use.

Yup I use $179 for 4K and $79 for HD.

I started exclusive at P5 but soon realized this was a very bad decision so got back to non-exclusive (after 6 month period). No sales and barely any views during exclusivity and pretty much the same now being non-exclusive.
It's a pity since I like everything about P5. Contributor support is top notch, so is the uploading, editing and representation of your profile and portfolio.

When I started uploading those same clips to SS and AS I already had downloads after a few days and fair priced. So as much as some of us would like to support other agencies, without sales they are not much good to us.

Contributors that price their work far below industry standard are killing this industry much faster then expected and they don't even realize it. People have no self-respect or value their own or others work anymore. Well in this market anyway. This type of virus hasn't spread all over just yet!

I'm glad we can all have a serious talk about this because we can't keep fooling ourselves or others. This business is drying up for many of us no matter what we do.

I don't think Editorial is good enough to make up for the loss and that is why I place them Exclusively at alamy. My last sale there was a few days ago for $74 gross. I don't think people fetch that kind of money with their editorials on SS but I may be wrong. I still think RM has it's place in the stock market.

Travel is not the best if you want to succeed in Microstock, so is wildlife. A tiny vector/image port with good conceptual imagery or holidays or even food will easily outperform a much, much larger portfolio filled with travel or wildlife.
You'd have to be uploading art to be successful at that but then you're an idiot for fetching pennies for your art. I've seen more then a couple of those wandering around SS forum thinking they are the sh.t! I also see plenty of high end art portfolio's in Microstock. It still amazes me some people add no value to their hard work and totally lack self-respect.

At this stage I see no reason why Video should be any different then imagery. It's getting as saturated as the image market and even worse in price wars between agencies or contributors (P5 pricing)

Sometimes we all have to know when to move on.


I also wanna bet those reviewing our work come from those same countries. Check country of origin of those complaining about reviews and not selling new files.

Bottom line is those from US and northern/western Europe have no business anymore in Microstock unless going Editorial perhaps but I doubt the money will be as good. My editorials go to Alamy exclusively.

That is for those who want to succeed in this market. For the hobbyists out there it wont matter much, for now anyway.

Some are happy to see contributors go, more sales for us they say but again these libraries will start lacking unique content therefore lose customers so in the end its bad for everyone.

Well any suggestions then? ;) You guys are much better at explaining this. Hopefully you get my point though and surely I'm not the only one that has noticed this?
I shall change it to "low standard of living".

Microstock is already being dominated by contributors from low standard of living countries. Look up any word in search and you'll mostly find Russia, Ukraine, India, Thailand, etc...  up top.
If these people are satisfied with the peanuts they get and their work still has high quality and commercial value then both the agency and the contributor will be satisfied.

BUT there is one big downside to this. If they continue to thrive on these contributors they will get stuck with the same type of work. If they lose too many contributors from northern/western Europe and most importantly the US they will lack a lot of good and unique content, maybe even the best because sad to say but the copycats, spammers and thieves also seem to come from these low standard countries.

I've also noticed lately that a lot of contributors, again mostly from low standard of living countries sell their clips for 25 bucks on P5. They can sell low because 300 or 500 bucks a month gets them a long way and they also eliminate the competition, or so they think anyway.
What they don't understand is that by doing this they also contribute the most to the downfall of this market eliminating themselves. With these low prices FREE is closer then ever so eventually they won't be able to survive in this market either.

Pond5 / Re: What is your download/views ratio on Pond5?
« on: February 04, 2020, 10:40 »
25 for full hd, 50 for 4k.

That's the real industry problem..people tbat sell for pennies...i wonder if you sell the same clips on ss or adobe at 79/179$...

You've got that right mate. People shouldn't even be allowed to price their work that low at P5.
Besides trying to better the competition they are also eliminating themselves but don't realize it just yet.
Thankfully there are still buyers out there more then willing to spend industry standard or premium prices and even prefer it over the cheap stuff.

No but then I removed my Alamy photos from distributor sales back in April 2019.

You can do the same in April 2020

I also opted-out in April 2019 and still get distributor sales in January 2020.
Three actually and my only sales so far this year.
They said they were still available in distribution at the time they were licensed.

10 / Re: Is this January especially low for you?
« on: January 31, 2020, 09:21 »
I was going to focus more on Adobe Stock but 1 sale on Jan 29, 1 sale on Jan 30 and 1 sale on Jan 31. That's on 2k port with images and videos. I mean common they really must think we're a bunch of fools and we are in a way for putting up with all this.

For many sales on new files are non-existent at both Shutterstock and Adobe Stock. Why we still upload new material is beyond me. We might as well ride it out selling nothing but our old files. It doesn't matter if you upload new work, niche, videos, 3D, etc... it all seems to be hidden from the buyers  :o

Those who claim good sales are mostly hobbyists so nothing to go by, sorry. I expect February to be even worse. Why should anything change anyway, we keep uploading with less return so all is well right!

3 sales make you an hobbyist sorry.

Exactly! and to think my bestseller has over 9k downloads since 2013 at Shutterstock.

11 / Re: Is this January especially low for you?
« on: January 31, 2020, 09:03 »
I was going to focus more on Adobe Stock but 1 sale on Jan 29, 1 sale on Jan 30 and 1 sale on Jan 31. That's on 2k port with images and videos. I mean common they really must think we're a bunch of fools and we are in a way for putting up with all this.

For many sales on new files are non-existent at both Shutterstock and Adobe Stock. Why we still upload new material is beyond me. We might as well ride it out selling nothing but our old files. It doesn't matter if you upload new work, niche, videos, 3D, etc... it all seems to be hidden from the buyers  :o

Those who claim good sales are mostly hobbyists so nothing to go by, sorry. I expect February to be even worse. Why should anything change anyway, we keep uploading with less return so all is well right!

Shutterstock has never transferred metadata for me when uploading clips, images are not an issue though.
Also, keep in mind that Bridge replaces all commas , with semicolons ;
Now as far as I can remember Shutterstock had no issues with this but I reckon there has been a change recently and now it removes all keywords, probably because it sees it as one big keyword.
I use a copy/paste on a text file and then auto replace the semicolons back to commas.

13 / Re: Is this January especially low for you?
« on: January 21, 2020, 13:45 »
Terrible month on SS for me, almost all sales are subs, no SODs, no video downloads, what the * is going on?

Same here, also last few months were decent at AS but now it's back to same old. No surprise since it all feels rigged.
It doesn't seem to matter anymore what you do, upload new and better work, go niche, go video, go 3D, go home! if they got you capped you are screwed until you've had enough and remove your port.
Doh I forgot, it's the fierce competition! silly me, sorry my bad  :-X

A few years ago SS was talking grandly about how they were a "technology" company with a big R&D group. 

I think they built a system so automated and so complicated that they can't manage it anymore; and some employees, partners and other 'insiders' have figured out how to play it.  People with access are bringing in other people's stolen portfolios for a price, direct, no 'upload' and no inspection, thousands of images at a time.   They've probably lost enough key development people by now that they're afraid to touch the code, can't take the risk of breaking things, and don't have enough monitoring hooks in place.

Its too late, the ship has sailed... they can't afford to pay new people to look back at 100 million images and decide what's real anymore.  Even if they did, how many of those poorly paid 'inspectors' could they trust?

Spot on!

15 / Re: 0.26 sales on Shutterstock??!!
« on: January 02, 2020, 03:43 »
I got out of SS years ago and my cheery thought for 2020 is this: we've now seen every sort of crazy, senseless activity there,  it only gets worse over time.  Surely it's possible that their basic accounting is full of loopholes and your photos are ending up being used by Big Important Customers via transactions in which you're not even getting a penny. And how would you ever know?

I understand and lately I (and many others) are truly getting fed up with SS and their ways but I wonder who do you still supply?
Because without SS there is not much left no? I have quit all the low earners (with some even bringing in almost 25 bucks a month) and now I am only providing AS, SS, AL and P5.

Obviously one cannot continue complaining while continue supporting them with uploads. I have already removed hundreds of images from my SS port and will continue to do so and I have stopped uploading since december 1st. And yes if you are wondering AS and AL are picking up sales on those images. My RPD is also higher at AS (euro)
Still, SS brings in a bit of money. With a 2k port I still outperform many with 5000, 10000 or more although my earnings have dropped to 1/3, sometimes even 1/4 of what I used to make or better yet should  be making.

To me SS feels like they let their staff do pretty much whatever they want as long as the money rakes in. It all feels uncontrolled and that shows in sales, lack of support, incompetent reviews and what not. Though I am sure they are already starting to feel the negative effect of this and it will only get worse.

I think we as contributors have to start doing a bit more then just complaining. I know some here do but what about the rest? Where are all those dissatisfied contributors? Why do they keep silent? Why do they continue providing with diminishing returns? This I do not understand!

General - Top Sites / Re: Have a happy holiday season!
« on: December 20, 2019, 10:13 »
Thanks a lot Mat, much appreciated!
I also wish you and your family a wonderful holiday season.

Here's to 2020!

17 / Re: Shutterstock reviewers are idiots
« on: December 20, 2019, 10:08 »
Whats with the tagging as 3D render anyway if their reviewers don't know the difference? Why not implement a simple system such as Adobe and Alamy (and probably many others)

I highly doubt a buyer would be displeased if they knew their bought image was actually a very realistic composite or render. They buy it because they like it and it helps perceive the message.

General - Top Sites / Re: Least Favorite Site to Upload to?
« on: December 20, 2019, 09:53 »
For me the least favorite for images is currently Shutterstock since they seem to let incompetent people continue reviewing our work. By incompetent I mean either they don't know what the heck they are doing or they do know but just like to play games with us, either way and with all due respect these people should go flip burgers instead.

As for videos I would have to say Shutterstock again since they don't transfer any metadata unlike AS and P5. While I only joined them recently Pond 5 would be my favorite for uploading video. Editing metadata for online clips is also very straightforward.

I don't mind the extra work at Alamy as long as sales are occurring and that is probably why many hate them, more work and no/low sales.
It's a pain though to tag the top keywords with a pen so hopefully they will look into that one day.

I don't have any issues with Adobe either since I keyword in Bridge so the top five keywords are always in front. UL speed also seems faster compared to SS.

I only work with these 4 (used to be more then a dozen) so cannot comment on others.

19 / Re: Shutterstock reviewers are idiots
« on: December 19, 2019, 04:44 »
And now an illustration and 3D rendering being rejected for "incorrect illustration designation" and a rejection for 3D that it requires phrase 3D blabla while it was tagged in such a way. So another incompetent review. They are really taking the piss now aren't they.

Shutterstock get these clowns in check!

20 / Re: Shutterstock reviewers are idiots
« on: December 19, 2019, 03:34 »
What I never understood is that if we get tight and mostly wrong reviews like this then how come others can pretty much upload whatever they want?
Spamfolios, duplicates (stolen), extreme low quality (noise, lighting, composition) and the list goes on.
That I do not get unless like I mentioned before, reviewers are helping their own while trying to eliminate others. I cant see any other explanation  :o

Reviewers should actually be the ones that get tight reviewing by admins because in a way they are killing off this business. We get fed up and stop re-uploading or even stop uploading new work completely and SS loses a couple of hundred thousand good images. Meanwhile the spam and stolen images multiplies, yup good business strategy!

21 / Re: Shutterstock reviewers are idiots
« on: December 18, 2019, 11:25 »
I can't count the times anymore that they rejected my plain photos for not tagging them as illustrations and even mistaken my Photoshop composites for 3D so rejecting them for not tagging as 3D rendering ::)
I don't know if they are that dumb (incompetent) or that smart (trying to eliminate competition)

... but by the end of the month SS has always beaten them.

That's been the case for me too, a number of times. The real differentiator is that AS has nothing like the (for photos) $50-$120 SOD royalties and that makes it easy for SS to pull back ahead if those materialize. The volume has shrunk compared to several years ago, but they're still there.

This month, AS was ahead for about the first 9 or so days, but then they settled in their #2 spot.

A $70 custom sale dropped in at the beginning of the month for me at AS so they do seem to have them but this might have been a one-off, we will see. Whenever a big sale happens at SS the rest of the month pretty much dries up, hopefully this wontt happen at AS.

Adobe Stock / Re: Article on Adobe Stock search
« on: December 12, 2019, 07:56 »
Instead of using someone that doesn't know his/her head from his/her tail AS actually hired an experienced stock contributor to communicate with us. Someone who knows his craft well and is always around to keep us updated or help us receive further assistance.
Well maybe I'm giving you more credit then you deserve but I just had to mention this.

I think I can speak on behalf of many here, thanks for being around Mat, much appreciated!

Video Equipment / Sofware / Technique / Re: Mouse or tablet?
« on: December 12, 2019, 07:05 »
Thanl you both Martin & Snow for replying :)

Truth is that my wrists are already damaged and multi hour computer mouse work just make it worse.

Snow, XP-Pen is not available in my country, only one store that actually orders overseas
else, only through amazon or similar online order.
TBH i prefer to order form a store, have some personal contact and ensure they have a repair service available.
Believe it or not, I judge my purchase from the store, based on sales person and technician attitude.
The only alternative available that I am looking at the moment is a Huion Q11K v2.
Sounds big and low price. Guess with some compromising will do the trick.
Wacoms are out of my budget.

Thank you for mentioning video editing, I was wondering on this
but thought that most people do photoshop of illustrator work with pens.
I would gladly reject the mouse if I can do everything with a tablet!

Yeah been there done that mate. Pen will help for sure since this will change position (rotation) and movement of the wrist. Whenever I get back to the mouse I feel my wrist is out of it's alignment unlike the natural feel of a pen.

Also make sure the rest of your body parts are in line with the desk ;) shoulders back and down and table slightly lower then 90 to keep good bloodflow to hands. Don't lift knees too high up because that will strain the psoas (knee problems etc...)

If possible get one of those sit/stand desks (I'm using cheap ikea) because I get much less strain on wrists, shoulders and neck while standing. Legs get tired after a few hours but almost all other issues disappear but they do come back when I go back to sitting.

Also don't forget to exercise. We tend to keep our body tight and in the same position for too long so try to do the opposite when exercising.
As we all know our bodies are not built for this type of work so no matter what we do or buy we will always be vulnerable to RSI.

Best of luck mate and take care!

They can boast about anything they want, what I'm seeing for the past couple of months is more positive reviews for AS and a lot more negative reviews for SS, be it from buyers or contributors.

I've read a few posts of people claiming that their AS earnings surpassed SS but always felt this could never be the case for me since they were so far apart. Lo and behold this month is the first time AS surpassed Shutterstock earnings. I've been doing this for almost a decade now and as far as I can remember this never happened before.

I feel SS is pushing away many contributors lately, why? who knows and who cares, we have to adapt to the situation and fast. For me that doesn't include more uploads for less money so they have stopped receiving my work.

On the other hand when I upload more to AS I earn more and that's the way it's supposed to be!

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